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This is an American slang word popular during prohibition for illegally produced alcoholic liquor. It is also a colloquialism for cheap liquor.

The word originated in the late 19th century in Alaska. A small Tlingit tribe, the Hutsnuwu (Hoochinoo) Indians lived on Admiralty island, south of Juneau, and were distilling their own alcoholic liquor from molasses in the late 19th century (they probably learned the distillation process from American trappers). The product became known as 'hoot-chinoo', 'hooch' or 'hootch', and a 'Report on the Population of Alaska' published with the 1890 U.S. census, stated that the cause of “nearly all the trouble in this country” was 'hoochinoo' or 'hooch'.





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