1. (orig. US drugs) an addict, esp. of opium; usu. in comb. with drug name [note Nat. Police Gaz. 20/2/1886 7/1: ‘“Fiends”, by which term is generally meant only Caucasian smokers’; contemporary use tends to be ironic].
|Western Dly Press 29 July 2/6: The opium culture had only begun there during the past year [...] Dr Legge thinks the opium fiend will be exorcised.|
|Opium Smoking 51: The effects of opium-smoking [...] upon an habitual and excessive smoker or ‘fiend’.|
|‘Life in a New York Opium Den’ in Professional Criminals of America 🌐 The old saying, ‘There is honor among thieves,’ applies equally well to opium fiends. They never steal from each other while in the joint.|
|Dr. Judas, A Portrayal of the Opium Habit 128: The effects of smoking in the ‘fiend’ endure for about eight hours; he has no need to resort to the pipe more than twice daily.|
|Sister Carrie 404: Like the morphine fiend, he was becoming addicted to his ease.|
|Sarjint Larry an’ Frinds 52: Was Oi iver afther tellin’ you, lootinant, about de expereince Oi wanst had wit’ a bino fiend [...] up in Batangas.|
|N.Y. Times 28 Mar. n.p.: One of them, with the mendacity typical of morphine fiends, had stanchly declared himself cured of the habit and was about to leave the hospital when he heard of the experiments about to take place.|
|Sport (Adelaide) 11 May 14/4: They Say [...] That Joe P. has given up all his bad habits [...] but he is still a cigarette fiend.|
|N.Y. Times 8 Feb. n.p.: Most of these insane drug users [...] were the victims of morphine; whereas the negro drug ‘fiend’ uses cocaine almost exclusively.|
|(con. 1914) Dope-Darling 43: He said in a low voice: ‘She is a cocaine fiend.’ Beatrice whistled.|
|Alex The Great 291: They’re awful tough on hop fiends in this burg now.|
|Black Candle 276: In the Western Provinces of Canada, ‘fiends’ foregather in certain drug stores and purchase decks of cocaine, morphine and heroin as if these were candies, no prescriptions being required.|
|Gangs of N.Y. 323: He was a camphor fiend and a cocaine addict.|
|Tropic of Capricorn (1964) 276: I don’t think he was a hop fiend.|
|Battlers 272: You ought to know not to camp with metho fiends by now.|
|Odd – But Even So 23: I do not drink the black smoke. I am not an opium-fiend.|
|(con. 1920s) Schnozzola 88: He called this turn ‘The Hop Fiend’s Easter’.|
|Sundowners 264: I’ll die decently drunk [...] a plonk fiend, maybe even drinking metho.|
|Jungle Kids (1967) 59: Harry was a real fiend, an addict you know.‘. . . Or Leave It Alone’ in|
|Joint (1972) 229: Looked like the star high school athlete who turns out to be a marijuana fiend.letter 13 Sept. in|
|Go-Boy! 137: A butt wouldn’t finish rolling on the ground before it was scooped up and hoarded by some nicotine fiend.|
|Is That It? 55: Murray’s wasn’t a nest of dope fiends, however.|
|(con. early 1950s) L.A. Confidential 24: The scourge of grasshoppers and junk fiends everywhere.|
|🎵 And then them fiends started hittin crack viles.‘Pocket Full of Stones’|
|Reach 39: ‘It’s not ... bad for you,’ I say like an ageing dopefiend lethargically defending his chosen drug.|
|Dead Long Enough 153: If they happen to be coke fiends or smackheads, or E-chicks.|
|Drama City 25: [of crack] Sittin’ around with a bunch of fiends, suckin’ on that glass dick.|
|Life 204: Two fiends looking to see if they can get higher than ever before.|
|Happy Mutant Baby Pills 132: The junkie tribe is a whole other category. Even though [...] I now owned the requisite face fur, my people were fiends, not hipsters.|
|🎵 I ain’t chasing a dragon like feins on a foil. / I’m chasing my dreams, queens heads in the royal.‘Could Have Been’|
2. (US campus) a fool [fig. use of sense 1].
|Living London (1883) Jan. 28: ‘Pug’ makes so many blunders, that at length his Gloomy Chief loses all patience with the ‘lubber fiend’.in|
|DN II:i 34: fiend, n. A fool, a blockhead.‘College Words and Phrases’ in|
3. an addict, an obsessive, other than of drugs.
|Glimpses of Gotham and City Characters 51/1: The lunch fiend [i.e. a frequenter of free lunch counters] is always a man who has seen better days.|
|North West Chron. 20 Oct. 5/6: The Tea Fiend. To drink tea, the Dean of Bangor assures us, is as dangerous as to imbibe alcohol.|
|World (N.Y.) 4 Jan. 19/7: THE POST-OFFICE FIEND. Every afternoon this crank can be seen busily engaged in writing letters (which are never mailed).|
|Student Sl. in Cohen (1997) 17: fiend n. A person wholly given up to one study or interest; an expert. ‘A philosophy fiend!’ ‘A chocolate fiend!’.|
|DN II:i 34: fiend, n. 3. An instructor who makes his students work hard. [...] 5. An enthusiast. 6. A hard student.‘College Words and Phrases’ in|
|Bar-20 x: I hears yu an’ Frenchy’s reg’lar poker fiends!|
|Spokane Press 20 Feb. 17/2: Chop suey and noodle cafe of Kwong Hai Lo [...] where hundreds of noodle ‘fiends’ gather after theaters.|
|Coll. Short Stories (1941) 453: I couldn’t trust a cigarette fiend with a nickel.‘The Facts’ in|
|You Can’t Win (2000) 82: The habit had fastened on him. He became a fiend for gambling.|
|New York Day by Day 27 May [synd. col.] Howard Chandler Christy is a frog leg fiend.|
|Tropic of Capricorn (1964) 262: They had me on the run, these crazy horsepower fiends.|
|Thrilling Detective Feb. 🌐 I’m a fiend for a waxed floor and a gal to hoof with.‘Shoulder Straps’ in|
|Catcher in the Rye (1958) 41: Old Brossard was a bridge fiend, and he started looking around the dorm for a game.|
|Bold Saboteurs (1971) 149: He’s a sex fiend.|
|Baron’s Court All Change (2011) 49: [T]he great army of jive fiends at this club of ours.|
|Brown’s Requiem 43: Juicers on the wagon are all big coffee fiends.|
|Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 113: Dragged their by snatch-crazed fiends.West in|
|Campus Sl. Fall 3: fiend – to have a great love or obsession for: ‘Every time I visit you are sweeping; you must be a clean fiend’.|
|Rakim Told Me 190: He ends our chat by dropping a newsflash that will make Juice Crew fiends froth [etc].|
4. on bad = good model.
(a) (US campus) a clever student.
|DN II:i 34: fiend, n. One who excels in anything.‘College Words and Phrases’ in|
|‘West Point Sl.’ in Howitzer (US Milit. Academy) 292–5: Fiend – One who is very skillful or a past-master at anything. Fiendish – Clever, remarkable; also eminently O. K., as, ‘a fiendish femme.’.|
(b) (US black) a general term of praise for any person or thing.
|Portable Promised Land (ms.) 160: We Words (My Favorite Things) [...] Microphone fiend. Media assassin.|
5. someone who smokes marijuana alone (since smoking is usu. a communal experience).
|ONDCP Street Terms 9: Fiend — Someone who smokes marijuana alone.|
(US drugs) an inexperienced or naïve drug user, one who is in the early days of their addiction to narcotics.
|Lang. Und. (1981) 104/1: hoosier fiend. An inexperienced addict; a yokel who has become addicted, perhaps accidentally, and doesn’t know he is hooked until he is deprived of drugs and develops withdrawal distress.‘Lang. of the Und. Narcotic Addict’ Pt 2 in|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 121: hoosier fiend An inexperienced drug fiend.|
|Narcotics Lingo and Lore.|