A hippie (sometimes spelled hippy)] is a member of the counterculture of the 1960s, originally a youth movement that began in the United States during the mid-1960s and spread to other countries around the world.The word hippie came from hipster and was used to describe beatniks who moved into New York City’s Greenwich Village, San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district, and Chicago’s Old Town community. The term hippie first found popularity in San Francisco with Herb Caen, who was a journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle.
See also – Etymology of hippie
To the Beat Generation that had been active since the 1940s, the flood of youths in the 1960s adopting beatnik sensibilities appeared as a cheap, mass-produced imitation. By Beat Generation standards, these newcomers were not cool enough to be considered hip, so they used the term hippie with disdain. American conservatives of the period used the term hippie as an insult toward young adults whom they considered unpatriotic, uninformed, and naive. Ronald Reagan, who was governor of California during the height of the hippie movement, described a hippie as a person who “dresses like Tarzan, has hair like Jane, and smells like Cheeta.” Others used the term hippie in a more personal way to disparage long-haired, unwashed, unkempt drug users. In contemporary conservative settings, the term hippie is often used to allude to slacker attitudes, irresponsibility, participation in recreational drug use, activism in causes considered relatively trivial, and leftist political leanings (regardless of whether the individual was actually connected to the hippie subculture). An example is its use by the South Park cartoon character, Eric Cartman