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See also: Jones



Ed Boland, in The New York Times, March 2002, attributes the term to heroin addicts who frequented Great Jones Alley in New York City, off Great Jones Street between Broadway and Lafayette Street,[1] although the slang term has obviously been around much longer.

Dan Waldorf explains that the noun use originated from heroin users.[2]


  • (US) IPA(key): /dʒoʊnz/
  • (file)


jones (plural joneses)

  1. (US, slang, now rare) Heroin.
    • 1965, Amiri Baraka, The Alternative, as cited in Peter Bruck (ed.), The Black American Short Story in the 20th Century, John Benjamins, p. 196
      You mean you got a little Jones, huh? Was it good?
    • 1975, unknown author, Northwestern Reporter, p. 512
      Defendant responded by saying he had some "Jones", a term used to describe heroin.
    • 2000, Ogden, Priest Opiast, Re: Questions about Percocet, Ativan & Xanax, alt.drugs.hard, [1]
      You seem like a smart kid, and dont get me wrong here, we dont want to see you all fucked up, cracked out butt naked on 4th street in the bad side of town, lookin to fuck the 1st millionaire willing to fork over some jones money.
    • 2001, Terminus Est, Re: Nothing to Fear but Pain Itself,, [2]
      Which erodes "quality of life" faster... debilitating chronic pain or a little jones?
  2. (US, slang) An addiction or intense craving.
    I’ve got a basketball jones!
    • 1965, Claude Brown, Manchild in the Promised Land, MacMillan, p. 262
      ... I've got a jones," and she dropped her head.
    • 1992, Lawrence Block, A Dance at the Slaughterhouse, HarperCollins, p. 93
      "On the Deuce," he said, "everybody got a jones. They got a crack jones or a smack jones, ..."
    • 1992, Anonymous as cited in Dan Waldorf, Cocaine Changes, Temple University Press, p. 126
      And I went through a kind of withdrawal jones thing and drank a bunch and then took a Valium, and it comes in waves.
    • 2003, Ken Hughes in Jim Aikin (ed.), Software Synthesizers: The Definitive Guide to Virtual Musical Instruments, Backbeat Books, p. 64
      If you have a jones for one of these old tape-tanglers but lack the cash, space, and/or patience necessary to acquire, house and maintain one, consider M-Tron.


jones (third-person singular simple present joneses, present participle jonesing, simple past and past participle jonesed)

  1. (US, slang) Have an intense craving.
    I’m jonesing for some basketball.
    • 1989, Beastie Boys, Shake Your Rump, 0:06
      A lot of people they be jonesing just to hear me rock the mic / They'll be staring at the radio, staying up all night
    • 1995, James Lee Burke, Burning Angel, Hyperion, p. 126
      ... when it's their turn to talk, they speak in coonass blue-collar accents about jonesing for crack and getting UA-ed by probation officers.
    • 1997, David Sedaris, “True Detective”, in Naked:
      “I have to go now,” she’d say to the grocery clerk. “My mother-in-law is back at the house, jonesing for her lunch.”
    • 2001, Sheridan Becker & Jayne Young, Savvy in the City: New York City, p. 3
      If you jones for wheat grass, this is your destination.
    • 2007, Jonathan Nasaw, Twenty-Seven Bones, Simon & Schuster, p. 258
      The rain tree at sunset was exquisite, but after a few minutes Pender found himself jonesing for a football game.



  1. ^ Boland Jr., Ed. "F.Y.I.", The New York Times, March 17, 2002. Accessed October 8, 2007, “The slang term jones, meaning an addiction to drugs, is said to have originated among addicts who lived in Great Jones Alley, off Great Jones Street, between Broadway and Lafayette Street.”
  2. ^ Cocaine Changes, Dan Waldorf, 1992, p. 301