a bar selling illegally brewed alcohol


speakeasy = ein Ort, an dem illegal alkoholische Getränke verkauft wurden, insbesondere solche Einrichtungen in den Vereinigten Staaten während der Prohibition



“It’s 90 years since the end of Prohibition, and although SPEAKEASIES still attract visitors to New York, there’s a new drinking trend that’s pulling in the locals — bars for the sober-curious.”

Rachel Ifans — (20th February 2024)

“The phrase, ‘SPEAKEASY’ originates from when people needed to “speak easy” (quietly), when ordering at the bar in order to not draw attention to the prohibited act of buying alcohol. In order to gain access to these illicit bars, a password, specific handshake or secret knock was required."

Eleanor O’Donnell — My Charleston Speakeasy

“When Prohibition took effect on January 17, 1920, (…) People wanting to drink had to buy liquor from licensed druggists for “medicinal” purposes, clergymen for “religious” reasons, or illegal sellers known as bootleggers. Another option was to enter private, unlicensed barrooms, nicknamed 'SPEAKEASIES'.”

The Mob Museum

Did you


- a place where alcoholic beverages were illegally sold, especially such establishments in the United States during Prohibition (1920–33)

- legal bars that are modeled on historical speakeasies



The term "speakeasy”, a combination of "speak" and "easy”, originated in the United States during the Prohibition era (1920 to 1933). During Prohibition, the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages were illegal, leading to the rise of underground establishments where alcohol was secretly sold and consumed.

Furthermore, slang words for alcohol such as “coffin varnish”, “monkey rum” and “tarantula juice” were created to fool police and neighbours.

The name "speakeasy" reflects the clandestine nature of these establishments. Customers were often required to speak quietly or "easy" about the location and activities of the speakeasy to avoid drawing attention from law enforcement authorities who were tasked with enforcing Prohibition laws.

These illicit establishments typically operated discreetly, with hidden entrances, secret passwords, and other security measures to avoid detection. Despite the illegality of their operations, speakeasies became popular social hubs where patrons could enjoy alcoholic drinks, live entertainment, and socialize without fear of legal repercussions. There were thought to be over 100,000 Speakeasies in New York alone.

Although Prohibition was repealed in 1933, the term "speakeasy" has endured in popular culture to refer to any establishment that evokes the atmosphere of secrecy and exclusivity associated with the Prohibition era.

Today, speakeasies often serve as retro-themed bars or lounges, offering a nostalgic glimpse into a bygone era of American history.


- Whispered passwords are more secure than spoken passwords, as the sound waves are harder to intercept and record.

- Whispered passwords contain tonal variations and nuances that add complexity to the authentication process, making it more difficult to replicate through impersonation.

- Whispering passwords can be an effective countermeasure against hidden microphone attacks, where malicious devices secretly record audio in an area.

- Some people silently mouth the password without making any sound, making it impossible for microphones to detect.

- Experts can lip-read surprisingly well, especially for short, predictable passwords. Studies suggest a 40% success rate for skilled lip readers — the longer your whisper the higher the security.

The main conclusion behind these facts is that whispered passwords are inherently more discrete and harder to intercept than spoken passwords, making them a valuable tool for enhancing personal and organizational security in high-risk situations.


after-hours club, blind pig (tiger), bootleg joint, clandestine drinking establishment, dive bar, gin joint, ginny, hard stuff hideout, hidy hole, illicit bar (saloon), juice joint, open all night, pop-up saloon, prohibited distillery, prohibited drinkery (taproom), secret saloon (tavern), SPEAKEASY, speak softly shop, subterranean bar, traveler's oasis, watering hole  

SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like:

“A good way to make something happen is to ban it — 1920s SPEAKEASIES were a great example.”

THANKS to Stefan for suggesting today’s OWAD.

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