Fiction Writer’s Compendium: Drug Street Names

Editor’s note: Provided below are a lengthy list of popular street-names (slang) for a wide variety of drugs, both legal and illicit. A ‘drug’ being define in the pharmacological sense of a non-nutritional substance of known structure, which when ingested, produces a biological effect. In addition to elucidating the general public, I hope this list aids fiction authors in better constructing stories wherein ‘hard’ drugs play a significant role.

Slang for Ketamine (and variant mixes)

  1. Cat Tranquilizer
  2. Horse Tranquilizer, etc — from its use as a veterinary anaesthetic
  3. K — shortened form of Ketamine
  4. Keezy
  5. Ket
  6. Ketapillars — a combination of ketamine and ecstasy pills (Keta- Pill- ars)
  7. Kenny
  8. K-Hole
  9. Kitty
  10. Kitty Flipping — a combination of Ketamine and ecstasy
  11. Old Man — as opposed to Madman (slang for Mdma/ecstacy)
  12. Regretamine
  13. Special K — humorous; from the breakfast cereal of the same name
  14. Super K
  15. Triple K or (KKK)– used in rave clubs in Southern Washington State
  16. Vetamine
  17. Vitamin K
  18. K wire
  19. KFC
  20. Wonky

Slang for Khat

  1. Cat
  2. Chat
  3. Clarkie cat
  4. Qat
  5. Quaadka

Slang for LSD

  1. Acid
  2. Acid tabs
  3. Alice — from Alice in Wonderland’s psychedelic adventures
  4. Alphabet
  5. Blotters — from the blotter paper it comes on
  6. California Sunshine
  7. Doses
  8. DSL — LSD backwards
  9. Eye Candy — LSD sold in Visine bottles
  10. Glories
  11. Lavender
  12. Lake Shore Drive — as in, “I’m cruisin’ down Lakeshore Drive” — Detroit area Lucy in the sky with diamonds — slang originally from The Beatles song about a painting done by Lennon’s son
  13. Magic Tickets — pieces of paper containing LSD
  14. Microdots — from tiny tablets
  15. Monterey Purple– a form of LSD that Jimi Hendrix used before his famous guitar burning performance at Woodstock
  16. Paper — from the blotter paper it comes on
  17. Rips — Abbreviation of ‘trips’
  18. Cid-drip the Entertainer — wordplay on ‘Cedric the Entertainer’
  19. Sugar cubes
  20. Sunshine Acid — The acid made by hippies Square dancing tickets
  21. Tabs — LSD is sometimes blotted onto sheets of paper, cut up into little squares called tabs
  22. Timothy Leary Ticket
  23. Trade names — e.g. Strawberries, Orange Sunshine, Felix
  24. Tickets – often used to describe blotter paper
  25. Trip — note than an LSD experience is known as a trip; being on LSD is known as tripping
  26. Uncle Sidney, Uncle Sid, Sid, Syd (as in Syd Barrett), ‘Cid — contraction of A-cid
  27. White lightning Window Pane
  28. Yellow sunshine

Slang for Mescaline

  1. Cactus
  2. Dusty
  3. M — used in PiHKAL
  4. Mesc
  5. Peyote
  6. Pixie sticks — so-named for the dream-like hallucinations induced by consumption

Slang for Methamphetamine

  1. Amp — Amphetamine
  2. Batu
  3. Billy — A reference to Billy Whizz, a Brit comic character who could move at high speeds (Beano comics)
  4. Cale
  5. Gerst
  6. Champagne
  7. Chris
  8. Christina
  9. Crank — noncrystalline methamphetamine powder prepared for insufflation or injection
  10. Crystal — from the crystalline form of pure methamphetamine
  11. Crystal Meth
  12. Devil’s Dandruff – a term common with law enforcement. Brought to popularity by the US-based A&E TV Show ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’
  13. Dope — a term for drugs in general but also used for meth
  14. Flash — slang used in the 1970s
  15. Fluff — crank of higher quality, commonly as powder
  16. G — glass
  17. Gak
  18. Geek
  19. Glass – from the shards that resemble pieces of glass
  20. Goose-Egg
  21. Go or Go Fast
  22. Go Pills — military slang, especially pilots (Japan, Germany, USA)
  23. Ice — crystalline methamphetamine, resembles ice
  24. Ink — reference to “pen” short for penitentiary, refers to the harsh penalties for possession, use or distribution of the drug.
  25. Jenny Crank — wordplay on ‘Jenny Craig’; from the idea that Methamphetamine makes you lose weight.
  26. Jib — Canadian Meth
  27. Meth
  28. Methedrine — a brand name
  29. P — short for ‘Pure’
  30. Pervatine — produced in the Czech Republic
  31. Philopon Poor man’s Cocaine
  32. Poot
  33. Pure
  34. Redneck cocaine
  35. Rudy — a reference to Rudies or Rude Boys
  36. Sean
  37. Shabu — Japanese street name
  38. Shards — resembles glass or crystal shards
  39. Shit
  40. Speed
  41. Tanner
  42. Terry
  43. Texas Tea
  44. Tina
  45. Tik — South African street name
  46. Twack
  47. Upside-down b — A reference to ‘P’, popularized in New Zealand by animated TV show Bro’Town
  48. Uppers
  49. Whiz Yaba — a powerful Asian meth tablet contain caffeine, often colored and flavored Zip
  50. Chicken Feed

Slang for Morphine

  1. Adolf
  2. Block
  3. C & M — refers to the use of cocaine and morphine simultaneously
  4. Cotton Brothers — cocaine, heroin and morphine
  5. Cube
  6. Dreamer
  7. Drugstore
  8. Dope
  9. Emsel
  10. First line
  11. German boy
  12. God’s drug
  13. Goma
  14. Gunk
  15. Hardcore
  16. Hardstuff — refers to both heroin and morphine

Slang for Phencyclidine [former trade names, Sernyl, Sernylan]

  1. Angel
  2. Angel Dust
  3. Cyclone
  4. Disembalming
  5. Fluid
  6. Dust
  7. Ice
  8. Juicy (when smoked with marijuana)
  9. Krystal
  10. Leak
  11. Love Boat
  12. Magic dust
  13. Mesk
  14. Monkey dust
  15. PCP
  16. Rocketfuel
  17. Sherm or Sherms — Sherman Hemsley
  18. Sugar
  19. Wack
  20. Wet

Slang for Promethazine w/Codeine [pain reliever and a cough suppressant]

  1. Barre
  2. Lean
  3. Oil
  4. Paint
  5. Purple Drank
  6. Purple Punch
  7. Rainbow
  8. Colors
  9. Sizzurp
  10. Syrup
  11. Tuss

Slang for psychedelic mushrooms

  1. Benzies
  2. Blue Rimmers
  3. Boomers
  4. Caps
  5. FireWorks
  6. Fly agarics — a form of mushroom (Amanita muscaria) containing no Psilocybin, or Psilocyn, the active ingredient in standard magic mushroom
  7. Fun Gus
  8. Fun Guys
  9. Fungus
  10. Goombas
  11. Gus
  12. Jesus
  13. Lalkas

The Silence & The Howl | Part 20


“Yo. Someone asking bout you at the front.”

Damion turned from the fat man with whom he was sharing a beer to the lanky, bejeweled man before him.

“And he is?”

“Don’t know. Never seen him before. Some white boy.”

“What about me is he asking?”

“Asking to speak to you.”

“Everyone wants a piece of the pie.”

“Not quite everyone,” Harmon declared, striding impassively beside the lanky man who reached swiftly for his gun. Before he could fully unholster the piece, Damion swiftly raised his hands in entreaty.

“Take it easy. Think our boy here is just lost. Ain’t that right?”

“No, Mr. Strake, not lost at all. Came to talk. If you’ve got a moment.”

“I’m afraid I don’t.”

“You don’t look afraid.”

Damion looked to his bodyguard with a raised brow. The lanky man shook his head and turned to Harmon derisively.

“Who the fuck you think you are?”

Harmon ignored the flustered guard, his eyes fixed on Strakes.

“I’d like to speak to Mr. Strake in private.”

“I’d like to be a millionaire.”

“With a mouth like that, I find your prospects doubtful.”

The lanky guard opened his mouth to repost the verbal jab but before he could speak, Damion interrupted, gesturing towards the door.

“Kelly, wait outside please.”


As Kelly and the fatman made their way out the door and sealed the pulsating electronica behind them, Harmon took a seat, upright, eyes level with his host, hands folded upon his lap.

“Thanks for calling off your dog.”

“You’re lucky I did. He bites.”

“I suggest a muzzle,” Harmon replied as he studied Damion’s face and then straightened once more, “You don’t remember me.”

“You don’t look familiar. What is it you want?”

“Does the name Sprawls ring any bells?”

“That ratfuck… yeah. He a friend of yours?”

“Used to be.”

“My condolences. Wait. I’ve seen you before.”

“Yes. We met – what was it – two years ago, at a music festival not far from here. You sold Sprawls something. Were secretive bout it.”

“Just some gas. You know how it is.”

“I don’t. That’s why I’m here.”

Damion rolled his eyes and leaned over the table, pushing a unopened can of beer toward his guest.

“Gas. Pot. Marijuana.”

“He buy other things from you?”

“Maybe. Why you asking? You buying?”

“Maybe. What other things does he buy?”

“Ya know, that’s the kinda question that only really dumb niggers ask. You ain’t no dumb nigger are you?”

Damion assumed an aggressive posture, his bleary eyes narrowed and he leaned out even further over the table, his mouth crinkling into a grimace.

Harmon cracked the beer and raised it to take a sip, responding before he did so.

“Do I look like a dumb nigger to you?”

Damion smiled humorlessly and shook his head.

“I don’t know what you look like. You on some bullshit.”

“Still haven’t answered my question.”

Damion gave the man a wary look before continuing.

“China Town.”

“He buy a lot?”

“Woulda if he could afford to. Last I heard that broke ass nigger was scrubbing toilets.”

“He come lately?”

“No. Why the fuck are you so interested?”

“Will you be selling, or not?”

“Depends on if you’re paying.”

“Course. You accept checks?”

Damion paused, furrowing his brow before he spied Harmon’s mocking expression.

“Very funny. You know you fucking lucky Karst ain’t here.”

“Don’t know him.”

“You should, this is his building. He ain’t quite so accommodating as me. Month ago, some dude named Luke Rawel comes up in here, talking shit, bout how much TNT he got and whole buncha bullshit. We tell him he needs to leave. He decides not to and says if we didn’t do business he’d have to have a word with the cops. Karst, well, he calmly told him there was no need for that and that they should talk about it in his office in the basement. Don’t know what happened, but ain’t no one seen Rawel after that…”

“That a threat?”

“Fuck no. I’m just telling you like it is.”

“Your boss’ personal affairs don’t concern me.”

Harmon removed a thick clip of hundred dollar bills from his belt and waved it before the pill merchant enticingly.

“Bring me what Sprawls last bought. Whatever he paid, I’ll pay double.”