Green’s Dictionary of Slang

hophead n.1

[hop n.3 + -head sfx (4)]

1. an opium, morphine or heroin addict; thus hophead house, a place where addicts buy and take narcotics.

[US]S.F. Call 4 Aug. 24/2: A List of Chinese Joints frequented by the Hop-heads.
[US]T.A. Dorgan in Zwilling TAD Lex. (1993) 63: In the same act there is a ‘yen she’ joint and a bevy of ‘hopheads’ pike out into the open air to close in on enough tin to get another long draw.
Oakland Herald 27 Apr. 1/5: Hundreds of Caucasian worshipers at the shrine of the black smoke have been forced to come to Oakland by the fire, and now depend for the satisfaction of their abnormal and vicious appetite upon the Chinese of Oakland. These ‘hop heads’ are to be seen in droves about the fringe of Chinatown.
[UK]T. Burke Limehouse Nights 78: He was a bit of a hop-head, and did sometimes hire an upper room in the Causeway, and sprawl [...] on the solitary bed, with a pipe of li-un or a handful of snow.
[US]J. Lait ‘Annye’s Ma’ in Beef, Iron and Wine (1917) 273: De Quincey, the well-known hophead, told all there is to say about panic.
[US]H.C. Witwer Fighting Blood 289: I see ’em do that same trick once with a hophead. They tell him he’s gettin’ morphine.
[US](con. 1910s) C.W. Willemse Behind The Green Lights 149: A prostitute, who was also a hop-head, helped me to solve one of my first murder cases.
[US]F.S. Fitzgerald ‘No Harm Trying’ in Pat Hobby Stories (1967) 125: I’ve trusted drunks up to a point, but I’ll be goddam if I trust a hophead.
[Aus]S.J. Baker in Sun. Herald (Sydney) 8 June 9/4: Among American borrowings recorded in Detective Doyle's list are: [...] ‘hophead,’ a drug addict; ‘reet,’ right or O.K.; ‘stiff,’ a corpse; ‘spring,’ to bail out; ‘snow,’ cocaine; ‘sticks,’ country districts.
[US]Kramer & Karr Teen-Age Gangs 29: Aw, you’re getting to be too much of a hophead.
[US]J. Baldwin Blues for Mister Charlie 45: A junkie, a dope addict, a hophead, a mainliner — a dope fiend!
[US]E. Thompson Garden of Sand (1981) 239: He considered hopheads and dope fiends perverted.
[US](con. 1940s–60s) H. Huncke ‘Sea Voyage’ in Eve. Sun Turned Crimson (1998) 141: Goddam — this looks like an opium den. You guys hopheads?
[US](con. early 1950s) J. Ellroy L.A. Confidential 22: Hopheads Quake When Dope Scourge Cop Walks Tall.
[US]J. Stahl I, Fatty 170: A bootlegger or two and the odd hophead.

2. attrib. use of sense 1.

[US]M. Levin Reporter 371: Dinky was a vice-lord, and all the [...] hophead houses and disorderly resorts paid tribute to his power.
[US]P. Beatty Sellout (2016) 121: The wave riders’ crack-and hophead skeletons, tweaked on sunrise.

3. a cocaine addict.

[US]Jackson & Hellyer Vocab. Criminal Sl. 21: burneys [...] Current among ‘hop-heads,’ dope fiends. A catarrh powder containing an illicit proportion of cocaine.
[US]C. McKay Home to Harlem 149: He’s the biggest hophead I ever seen. Nobody can sniff like him.

4. the user of any drug.

[US]Spokane Press (WA) 22 Sept. 7/3: Met ‘Hophead’ Kelly, ‘Suds’ Corman [...] and some other yeggs.
[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 103: Hop Head. – [...] loosely, any drug addict.
[UK]V. Davis Phenomena in Crime 99: He showed no inclination to violence [...] until he became a ‘hop-head’.
[US]H.S. Thompson letter 18 Mar. in Proud Highway (1997) 110: He speaks for more than thieves, hopheads, and whores.
[US]B. Hecht Gaily, Gaily 194: A day or two before election, the vital wards of the town filled up with hordes of drunks, hopheads, and bearded hoboes.
[US]A. Brooke Last Toke 87: And the girls, wise from too many nights of being hit on [...] most of them working women who wanted no part of the shiftless hop-heads and boozers offering to take them home.
[UK]Guardian Guide 12–18 June 17: A coterie of filthy dirty hairy hippie hopheads.

5. a marijuana smoker.

[US]T. Capote Breakfast at Tiffany’s 87: I always knew she was a hop-hop-head.
[US]T. Southern ‘Red-dirt Marijuana’ in Southern (1973) 10: I bet he done blow a lot of it too [...] I bet you daddy one of the biggest ole hop-heads in Texas.

6. an unstable person.

[US] in T.I. Rubin Sweet Daddy 22: I cured her okay; otherwise I’d of dumped the hop head.