Green’s Dictionary of Slang

gong n.2

[? transliteration of a Chinese word]
(US drugs)

1. an opium pipe.

[US]G. Bronson-Howard God’s Man 393: Come, lie ’round and join in the fun; With the aid of ‘the gong’, We will quit the mad throng.
[US]Charleston (WV) Daily Mail 31 July 6/8: A cokie is a ‘hophead’ who smokes ‘mud’ or ‘hop’ which is opium. And a gong is an opium pipe.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]J.E. Schmidt Narcotics Lingo and Lore.
[US]E.E. Landy Underground Dict. (1972).

2. opium.

[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 10: Gong — [...] opium.

3. marijuana.

implied in kick the gong around
[US] S.N. Pradhan Drug Abuse.
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 10: Gong — Marijuana.

In compounds

gong-kicker (n.)

1. (US, also gong-beater) an opium smoker.

[US]Flynn’s mag. 18 Mar. cited in DU.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 103: gong-kicker An opium addict.
[US]Anslinger & Tompkins Traffic In Narcotics 309: gong kicker. An opium addict.
[US]H. Braddy ‘Narcotic Argot Along the Mexican Border’ in AS XXX:2 87: GONG BEATER, n. An opium addict.
[US]E.E. Landy Underground Dict. (1972) 91: gong beater. n. Opium smoker.

2. a marijuana smoker.

[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 84/1: Gong-kicker [...] (less frequently) one who smokes marijuana.

In phrases

bang the gong (v.)

(US drugs) to smoke opium.

[US]Cab Calloway ‘Old Man of the Mountain’ 🎵 You have to bang the gong if you want to get along.
beat the gong (v.)

(drugs) to smoke opium.

[US]D. Maurer ‘Argot of the Und. Narcotic Addict’ Pt 1 in AS XI:2 118/2: beat the gong. To smoke opium.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]J.E. Schmidt Narcotics Lingo and Lore.
[US]Wentworth & Flexner DAS.
hit the gong (v.) (also hit the gonger)

(drugs) to smoke opium.

[US]D. Maurer ‘Junker Lingo’ in AS VIII:2 27: When the opium addict is smoking he is said to be hitting the gong, kicking the gonger, kicking the gong around, or lying on his hip.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]Anslinger & Tompkins Traffic In Narcotics 310: hit the gong. To smoke opium.
[US]J.E. Schmidt Narcotics Lingo and Lore 80: Hit the gonger – To be on friendly terms with the opium smoking pipe.
kick the gong around (v.)

1. (US drugs, also boot the gong around, kick it around, kick the gonger around, …the pipe around, ...the rag around, ...the toy around) to use drugs, esp. opium, heroin or morphine.

[US]Seattle Star (WA) 11 Nov. 8/3: Key to Broadway Slang! ‘What do you say to papering the hoop and kicking the gong?’ ‘K.O.!’.
[US]J. Callahan Man’s Grim Justice 26: ‘Kick the old gong around’ was the vernacular for smoking the opium pipe.
[US]Cab Calloway ‘Minnie the Moocher’ 🎵 Now, she messed around with a bloke named Smoky, / She loved him though he was cokie, / He took her down to Chinatown, / He showed her how to kick the gong around.
[US]D. Maurer ‘Junker Lingo’ in AS VIII:2 27: When the opium addict is smoking he is said to be hitting the gong, kicking the gonger, kicking the gong around, or lying on his hip.
[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks n.p.: Kick the pipe around/Kick the rag around/Kick the toy around, to smoke opium.
[US]B. Dai Opium Addiction in Chicago 200: Kicking it around. The act of smoking opium.
[US]E. Hoffman Price ‘Revolt of the Damned’ in Double-Action Gang June 🌐 Smoke Keenan, the ex-pug [...] kicked the gong himself, at times.
[US]D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive 30: The ‘boys in blue’ kick the gong around.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 32/2: Boot the gong around To smoke the opium pipe.
[US](con. 1910s) ‘Harry Grey’ Hoods (1953) 27: ‘I’d like to smoke a pipe of that stuff.’ [...] ‘That’s what they call kicking the gong around.’.
[US]J.E. Schmidt Narcotics Lingo and Lore 97: Kick the gonger – To keep company with the opium pipe.
[US]E.E. Landy Underground Dict. (1972).
[US] (ref. to 1931) N. Tosches Where Dead Voices Gather (ms.) 36: Though ‘gong,’ meaning opium pipe, was common hip parlance by 1914, it was not until 1931 that Cab Calloway, the Harlem hierophant of all things hip, celebrated ‘Kickin’ the Gong Around’ in his recording of that name.
[UK]J. Meades Empty Wigs (t/s) 259: [A]n appetite weaned on laudanum could adapt to kicking the gong in rooms frequented by the yellow peril .

2. (orig. US black) in fig. use, to fool around, to enjoy oneself.

[US]‘Digg Mee’ ‘Observation Post’ in N.Y. Age 10 May 9/5: Do not sit alone and frown. Get out and kick the gong around.
[US]D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive 59: The way that skull, Hitler, and his Johns are kicking the gong around in the layout across the drink.
N.Y. Times Bk Rev. 12 Sept. 8: To watch him, impeccably dressed in white tails and shiny patent-leather shoes, gyrate and jump, shout his ‘hi-de-hos’ and generally kick the gong around in front of that superb group of [...] musicians [HDAS].
J.C. Heathcote ‘Occupational Therapy’ at 🌐 The publishers don’t pay me to kick the gong around, I’m blistered and thin from the ecstasy of chafing daily against the cold tungsten crack you’ve drilled in the world.

3. (US) to gossip, to chat.

[US]Pittsburgh Courier (PA) 5 Dec. 20/1: Clyde can’t hob-nob with the nobility at the Waldorf-Astoria, rub elbows with the swells at the Savoy-Plaza, nor kick the gong around with the gay-blades [at] the Stork Club .
[US]Dos Passos Tour of Duty 106: This bitchin’ don’t mean a thing. If the boys didn’t get it up their nose sometimes an’ kick the gong around a little, they’d get the Asiatic stare.
[US]J. Moynahan Pairing Off 151: My regulars’d hang in here a while and then go across the street and kick the gong around in Margarite’s house until the small hours.
L. Wachtel on WINS radio 6 July [radio] So with monetary strategists Washington set to kick the gong around today [...] [HDAS].

4. (US drugs, also boot the gong around) to smoke marijuana.

[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 32/2: Boot the gong around [...] to smoke marijuana. [Ibid.] 116/2: Kick the gong around. [...] 2. (Less common) To smoke marijuana.
[US]Anslinger & Tompkins Traffic In Narcotics 306: boot the gong. To smoke opium or marihuana.
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 4: Boot the gong – To smoke marijuana.

5. (US) to masturbate.

[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 158: Masturbation [...] is [...] kicking the gong around.
[US]Bentley & Corbett Prison Sl. 63: Kill Some Babies To masturbate. (Archaic: kick the gong around).

6. (US) to act energetically.

Citylink Online (Palm Beach) 28 Aug. n.p.: Team Costello with his first-rate band, The Jivebombers [...] Never seen ’em live, but I’m betting my tailfins they can kick the gong around.