Skip to main content
Select Source:

Speakeasy

SPEAKEASY

SPEAKEASY, also known as a "blind pig" or a "blind tiger," is an illicit or unlicensed establishment dispensing alcoholic beverages. The speakeasy had been part of the American scene since at least the 1890s, but it reached its heyday after the Eighteenth Amendment took effect in January 1920, ushering in the Prohibition era. Though alcohol was officially illegal during Prohibition, bootleggers and distributors of illicit alcohol enjoyed a thriving business serving a public still eager to drink. At the height of their popularity (1924–1933), speakeasies were generally either bars or restaurants to which people gained admission by personal introduction or by presenting a card, usually informally. In social class they ranged from smart restaurants to underworld dens, but whereas before Prohibition, most "respectable" women would not be welcome in a public bar, women as well as men began flocking to speakeasies.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Allsop, Kenneth. The Bootleggers: The Story of Chicago's Prohibition Era. London: Hutchinson, 1968.

Behr, Edward. Prohibition: Thirteen Years That Changed America. New York: Arcade, 1996.

Cashman, Sean Dennis. Prohibition, the Lie of the Land. New York: Free Press, 1981.

Dumenil, Lynn. The Modern Temper: American Culture and Society in the 1920s. New York: Hill and Wang, 1995.

Stanley R.Pillsbury/d. b.

See alsoCrime, Organized ; Jazz Age ; Women in Public Life, Business, and Professions .

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Speakeasy." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Speakeasy." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/speakeasy

"Speakeasy." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/speakeasy

speakeasy

speak·eas·y / ˈspēkˌēzē/ • n. (pl. -eas·ies) inf. (during Prohibition) an illicit liquor store or nightclub.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"speakeasy." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"speakeasy." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/speakeasy-0

"speakeasy." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/speakeasy-0

speakeasy

speakeasyjazzy, snazzy •palsy-walsy • Ramsay •pansy, tansy •Anasazi, Ashkenazi, Ashkenazy, Benghazi, Ghazi, kamikaze, khazi, Stasi, Swazi •prezzie •frenzy, Mackenzie •Bel Paese, Buthelezi, crazy, daisy, Farnese, glazy, hazy, lazy, Maisie, mazy, oops-a-daisy, Piranesi, upsy-daisy, Veronese •stir-crazy •breezy, cheesy, easy, easy-peasy, Kesey, Parcheesi, queasy, sleazy, wheezy, Zambezi •teensy • speakeasy •busy, dizzy, fizzy, frizzy, Izzy, Lizzie, tizzy •flimsy, whimsy •Kinsey, Lindsay, Lynsey •poesy •Aussie, cossie, mossie •Swansea • gauzy • causey •ballsy, palsy •blowsy, Dalhousie, drowsy, frowzy, housey-housey, lousy •cosy (US cozy), dozy, Josie, mafiosi, mosey, nosy, posey, posy, prosy, Rosie, rosy •Boise, noisy

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"speakeasy." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"speakeasy." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/speakeasy

"speakeasy." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/speakeasy