purple hearts

Definition

Slang

  • plural noun amphetamine tablets. The phrase referred to purple or blue coloured tablets of amphetamines, barbiturate or a mixture of the two as prescribed and abused in the USA in the late 1950s. (The ‘purple heart’ was a medal awarded for bravery.) In Britain the word was adopted in the early 1960s as a generic term for pep pills or speed.
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