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Moonshine

MOONSHINE

MOONSHINE, an old English term for smuggled liquor, indicating its customary transportation by night, evolved into "moonshiners" in the nineteenth century to describe illicit distillers in southern Appalachia. Because moonshiners' stills were located among thickets or rocks, their products were known locally as "brush whiskey" and "blockade"; few described the liquor itself as "moon-shine." "Blockaders," as moonshiners were also known, viewed whiskey production as a natural right and as the only way to obtain a fair monetary return on mountain corn crops. Despite intensified campaigns against moon-shining after 1877 involving armed patrols of revenue officers, frequent killings, and pitched battles, the business was never quite eliminated. During Prohibition, the term "moonshine" came to be popularly applied to liquor illicitly made anywhere, even in the home.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Dabney, Joseph E. Mountain Spirits: A Chronicle of Corn Whiskey from King James' Ulster Plantation to America's Appalachians and the Moonshine Life. New York: Scribners, 1974.

———. More Mountain Spirits: The Continuing Chronical of Moon-shine Life and Corn Whiskey, Wines, Ciders, and Beers in America's Appalachians. Ashville, N.C.: Bright Mountain Books, 1985.

Alvin F.Harlow/c. w.

See alsoAlcohol, Regulation of ; Bootlegging ; Prohibition .

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moonshine

moonshine from late Middle English, moonshine has been taken as the type of something insubstantial or unreal (originally, in the phrase moonshine in the water). Later, the term was extended to mean foolish, nonsensical, or fanciful talk or ideas.

In North America, from the late 18th century, moonshine has been used to designate illicitly distilled or smuggled liquor.

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moonshine

moon·shine / ˈmoōnˌshīn/ • n. 1. inf. illicitly distilled or smuggled liquor. 2. foolish talk or ideas: whatever I said, it was moonshine. 3. another term for moonlight.

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moonshine

moonshine American illicit home‐distilled spirit.

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moonshine

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