Green’s Dictionary of Slang

hophead adj.

also hopheaded
[hophead n.1 (1)]

1. (drugs) addicted to a narcotic drug, usu. opium or heroin; pertaining to that addiction.

[US]T.A. Dorgan in Zwilling TAD Lex. (1993) 46: Hophead Hank has a dream.
[US]Amer. Mag. 77 June 31–5: In the underworld there is a species of foresight termed ‘hop-head hunches.’ They are regarded with superstitious awe the country over.
[US]J. Lait ‘Charlie the Wolf’ in Beef, Iron and Wine (1917) 36: [He] knew just how Hophead Hank must have felt when he saw fields of poppies.
[US]D. Hammett ‘The Big Knockover’ Story Omnibus (1966) 277: Beno, a hophead newsie who had given me a tip now and then.
[UK]Eve. Teleg. (Dundee) 28 Dec. 9/5: What the Americans would call a hop-head idea — an opium smoker’s pipe dream.
[US]Drake & Cayton Black Metropolis 567: With a hophead daddy and a booze houn’ mammy. How he ever gonna be a doctah?
[US]B. Hecht Gaily, Gaily 86: Jim put twenty-two affiliated whorehouses into action, all stocked with evening-gowned lassies, hop-headed pimps, and pale piano players.
[US](con. 1949) G. Pelecanos Big Blowdown (1999) 162: The kid was down from some steeltown, looking for his hophead sister.
[US]J. Ridley Everybody Smokes in Hell 4: He moved in a hophead/dope fiend slow dance.
[US](con. 1960s) J. Ellroy Blood’s a Rover 21: You make your hophead pal keep buying our hotels.

2. as a general insult, implying mental deficiency.

[US](con. 1943–5) A. Murphy To Hell and Back (1950) 134: Don’t talk like that to me, you hop-headed goon.’.