jonesin' (jonesing)


Senior Member
Cantonese, Hong Kong
Paul: You gotta hook me up with another meatball sandwich, OK? I'm jonesin' bad.
Stacy: Okay, Here you go. That'll be $20.
Paul: What about yesterday?
Stacy: First one's always free.

Source: Spin City Politically Incorrect

Background: Paul was a notorious cheapskate. He kept bragging about how he could get a nourishing meal for a measly amount of $0.8. But he was on the verge of spending much more than that after Stacy "strategically" offered him a meatball sandwich for free yesterday.

Has "jonesin" become so widely used as an intense craving for drugs that in this conext it implies Paul needs another sandwich fix as if he's an addict having a withdrawal symptoms?
  • Urban Dictionary has the first two, and by far the most popular, meanings as to urgently desire food. Although other definitions mention addiction, I think that Jonesing can be taken more to refer to any urgent need (but particularly food) rather than an urgent need of drugs.

    For what it's worth, I've never heard the term in BE.
    "Jonesing" (I see no need for a capital "j," unless it begins a sentence as it does here) has entered the AE vocabulary to mean an intense craving for almost anything pleasurable - food, to hear a favorite music group, and so on. I wouldn't use it for a need that's not pleasurable. For example, I wouldn't say "I'm jonesing to use the bathroom" or "I'm jonesing to see my spring grades," even if I had an urgent need for them.
    For what it's worth, I see little point in capitalizing the noun jones ("heroin," "addiction," or "craving") and the verb forms derived from it (to jones, jonesing).

    I also think that the word is considerably weakened when used in reference to something other than drug addiction. The Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus defines "be jonesing for [something]" (under the entry "jones verb") as simply "to want something very much." while it defines "crave verb" as "to desire something strongly."

    To agree with what others have said in this thread, that dictionary identifies the verb jones as "mainly US informal."
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    I heard this from Mistresses. Two people met in a party. A asked B why he was here. B said he was dragged by a friend who has been Jonesing at a L. A. party.What does Jonesing mean?Thanks!

    << Moderator's note: I have added this question to a previous thread. Please scroll up and read from the top. >>
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    I think you mean you heard this on the TV show Mistresses.:)
    (I heard this from mistresses means you have mistresses who told you this!)
    Are you sure that the person didn't say he was dragged there by a friend who
    had been jonesing for something?
    It would help to be sure we have the complete and exact line.
    Can you tell us which episode this is from?

    In the meantime, here is the American Heritage Dictionary's entry for jones:
    jones (jōnz) Slang

    n.1. Heroin.
    2. An addiction or craving.

    intr.v. jonesed, jones·ing, jones·es To have an eager or intense desire: was jonesing for caffeine.
    Isn't the craving part like you want to be like the "Jones", next door? That's how I've always understood the phrase.
    @Perpend: That theory of its origin being related to "keeping up with the Joneses" is mentioned along with others here.
    The New Oxford American Dictionary has “Origin 1960’s: said to come from Jones Alley, in Manhattan, associated with drug addicts.”
    Some online sources dispute the claim and attribute it to Great Jones Street.
    (Same source as above)