Beatnik

Definition - What does Beatnik mean?

The term Beatnik was used by the media in the fifties and sixties to denote a cultural stereotype of a type of marijuana user who was also interested in philosophy and exploration.

The first use of the word Beatnik is attributed to Herb Caen of the San Francisco Chronicle. It is a portmanteau of the words beat and sputnik, with the term 'beat' referring to the beat generation.

The beat generation refers to the youth movement from the late forties to the early sixties and the coin was termed by writer Jack Kerouac. The beat generation wrote literary works that explored philosophy and spirituality and they eschewed modern materialism.

Hydrolife explains Beatnik

A beatnik is a specific type of cannabis user. A beatnik is described as someone who appreciates jazz music and poetry as well as drinking tea and coffee. The way a beatnik is described as smoking a nug would be to just put it in the bowl without breaking it up or using grinder, although beatniks certainly smoked joints as well.

Beatniks merged eastern and western religions and philosophers and considered themselves explorers. Beatniks used marijuana to help them write and explore mental states. They drew their inspiration from early American authors such as Thoreau, Emerson, and Whitman. Notable individuals in the beatnik community include writers Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady, Jack Kerouac, Gary Snyder, and William Burroughs.

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