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"What are they smoking?"

Posted by TheFallen on May 28, 2003

In Reply to: What is the derivation of the phrase "what are they smoking" posted by andrew on May 28, 2003

: what is the derivation of the phrase "what are they smoking?"

It's a humorous slang expression of disbelief or amazement that refers to the practice of smoking drugs, and almost certainly marijuana or hashish, rather than anything stronger. So, if a friend of yours says or does something that to you seems surprisingly silly or bizarre, you might well say "What are you smoking?" (or over here in the UK, we'd more likely say "What have you been smoking?"), the humorous implication being that you think your friend must be stoned out of his head to act in such a way.