Green’s Dictionary of Slang

hop n.2

[SE hops, the main constituent of beer]

1. (also hops) beer [later use is Aus/N.Z./US black].

[UK]D. Jerrold Men of Character II 110: The abbot, danced [...] with a hooped flaggon in his hand and a cask upon his head, crying aloud the while, ‘hops! – your highness – hops!’.
[US]St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO) 3 Dec. 17/7: ‘There are a great many terms for drink [...] ‘hops’ for beer.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 29 Aug. 13/4: [T]he hop-ballasted person has a good chance of being sober by the time he is gathered to the police station.
[Aus]Smith’s Wkly (Sydney) 20 Aug. 11/2: Slanguage [...] Cross out the incorrect: word or phrase in the following sentences: [...] ‘Solomon was ’ot stuff (a doer) with the tabbies (tarts) and a fair cow (a whale) on the shicker (’ops)’.
[US]W.R. Burnett Little Caesar (1932) 254: Hop, beer.
[NZ]F. Sargeson ‘White Man’s Burden’ in A Man And His Wife (1944) 15: He told me he was keeping strictly off the hops.
[UK]G. Fairlie Bulldog Drummond Stands Fast 68: The Bull and Bush [...] which I sometimes visit if we [...] run out of hops.
[US]H.S. Thompson Hell’s Angels (1967) 145: My own taste for the hops is very powerful, and I had no intention of spending a beerless weekend.
[Aus]A. Buzo Rooted II iii: gary: Been down the rubbity lately? bentley: No, I haven’t hit the hops for a couple of weeks.
[US]D. Claerbaut Black Jargon in White America 69: hops n. beer.

2. (US prison) tea.

[US]‘Number 1500’ Life In Sing Sing 249: Hops. Tea.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).

In compounds

hophead (n.)

see separate entry.

hop joint (n.) [joint n. (3b)]

(US) a saloon bar; also attrib.

[US] ‘The Dream’ in J.F. Dobie Rainbow in Morning (1965) 160: I knocked her down on the hop-joint floor; / Mr. Townsend took at me wid his fo’ty-fo’.
[US]H.E. Rollins ‘A West Texas Word List’ in DN IV:iii 226: hop-joint, n. A saloon.
[US]Ade Old-Time Saloon 13: Open gambling houses, open pool-rooms and convenient hop-joints are not tolerated.
hop juice (n.) [juice n.1 (3a)]

(US) beer.

[[UK]R.S. Surtees Handley Cross (1854) 92: Her Majesty is so truly patriotic as to indulge in the juice of the hop].
[US]Ade Artie (1963) 49: That just goes to show what the hop-juice’ll do for you.
[Aus]E. Dyson Fact’ry ’Ands 95: There’s more joy over one sinner what repenteth than you’n me ud get out iv er whole bar’l iv hop juice.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 10 Oct. 48/2: Th’ boss here kin tell yu that sometimes I have ta drink fa th’ best part of a day before th’ hop juice gets right home. I hope yous blokes never git th’ dry ’orrers.

In phrases

go the hops (v.)

(Aus.) to enjoy drinking beer.

[Aus]‘No. 35’ Argot in G. Simes DAUS (1993) 95/2: go the hops [...] To be partial to beer.
on the hops


[Aus]D. Niland Big Smoke 116: I was on the hops yesty and last night and didn’t feel up to seeing the Lord.
[Aus]A. Buzo Norm and Ahmed (1973) 24: Go up with your mates and get on the hops.