Where does the term dope come from?

Updated: 9/27/2023
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15y ago

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A Term for someone who is dorky or stupid lacking knowledge or silly in a Good or bad

way.. so they nicknamed the drug Dope because dopes smoke or inhale it or taste it (etc.)


dope |dōp|


1 informal a drug taken illegally for recreational purposes, esp. marijuana or heroin.

• a drug given to a racehorse or greyhound to inhibit or enhance its performance.

• a drug taken by an athlete to improve performance : [as adj. ] he failed a dope test.

2 informal a stupid person : though he wasn't an intellectual giant, he was no dope, either.

3 informal information about a subject, esp. if not generally known : our reviewer will give you the dope on hot spots around the town.

4 a varnish applied to the fabric surface of model aircraft to strengthen them and keep them airtight.

• a thick liquid used as a lubricant.

verb [ trans. ]

1 administer drugs to (a racehorse, greyhound, or athlete) in order to inhibit or enhance sporting performance : the horse was doped before the race.

• ( be doped up) informal be heavily under the influence of drugs, typically illegal ones : he was so doped up that he can't remember a thing.

• treat (food or drink) with drugs : maybe they had doped her Perrier.

• [ intrans. ] informal dated regularly take illegal drugs.

2 smear or cover with varnish or other thick liquid : she doped the surface with photographic emulsion.

3 Electronics add an impurity to (a semiconductor) to produce a desired electrical characteristic.

adjective black slang

very good : that suit is dope!


dope something out informal dated work out something : they met to dope out plans for covering the event.


doper noun

ORIGIN early 19th cent.(in the sense [thick liquid] ): from Dutch doop 'sauce,' from doopen 'to dip, mix.'



noun informal

1 he was caught smuggling dope (illegal) drugs, narcotics; cannabis, heroin, cocaine.

2 what a dope! See fool noun sense 1 .

3 give me the dope on Mr. Dixon. See intelligence sense 2 .


1 the horse was doped drug, administer drugs/narcotics to, tamper with, interfere with; sedate.

2 they doped his drink add drugs to, tamper with, adulterate, contaminate, lace; informal spike, doctor.

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15y ago
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9y ago

It's actually a slang term for illegal drugs and for the abuse of prescription drugs. It may be called "dope", either because using it is a dopey thing to do, or because it makes the one using it a dope, or both.

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8y ago

Dope is a slang term for illegal drugs and for the abuse of prescription drugs, possibly because to use it a person is a 'dope', or because it makes them 'dopey', or both.

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Q: Where does the term dope come from?
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1 dime bag,

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dope dope dope at game

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