One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An illegal bar.
- ‘It transcended its use as a cracker repository when it became the home of a blind tiger establishment.’
- ‘Evidence presented to the grand jury at Waverly, Tenn., may send a justice of the peace, a physician, and the sexton of a church to the penitentiary for running a ‘blind tiger’ in the basement of the church.’
- ‘In 1864, the owner of a blind pig in Manchester, New Hampshire brought a suit to recover money damages for the destruction of his bar.’
- ‘While there is no question that corrupt policemen protected tenderloin brothels, ‘blind pigs,’ and gambling dens, the police took their lead from judges as well as ring politicians.’
- ‘And it planted new trees and grass to provide picturesque views to take the place of the smoky, smelly interior of a blind tiger - views in the Romantic idiom that idealized nature as a setting for polite middle class social interaction.’
Mid 19th century: probably so named to evade prohibition laws, the bars being disguised as exhibition halls for the display of natural curiosities.
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