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surname, literally "John's (child);" see John. Phrase keep up with the Joneses (1913, American English) is from the title of a comic strip by Arthur R. Momand. The slang sense "intense desire, addiction" (1968) probably arose from earlier use of Jones as a synonym for "heroin," presumably from the proper name, but the connection, if any, is obscure. Related: Jonesing.
An addiction, especially to heroin.
A popular American song from the early twentieth century, about an actual American railway engineer, John Luther (“Casey”) Jones. When his train was about to crash, Casey told his assistant to jump but stayed at the controls himself and applied the brakes. Although his train crashed and Casey was killed, the passengers survived.
: She's jonesing for those diamond earringsRelated Terms
[1960s+ Narcotics; origin unknown; perhaps an innocent code word used by addicts and dealers]