Do you know what "a speakeasy" is ?

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Do you know what "a speakeasy" is ?

Message  MurielB le Mar 5 Fév - 10:48

also called a blind pig or blind tiger, is an establishment that illegally sells alcoholic beverages. Such establishments came into prominence in the United States during the period known as Prohibition (1920–1933, longer in some states).
This word comes from the fact that during the early part of the 20th centry in America, no bar was allowed to have alcohol. Anyway alcohol was still served underneath and people would enter into the backdoor of an establishment and of course speak softly.

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Re: Do you know what "a speakeasy" is ?

Message  gerardM le Mar 5 Fév - 10:54

Hi Muriel,

Thanks for this word that I will try to place in my daily conversation Wink

The origin is easily understood.
I'm not that shameful not to remember as though I'm oldish I was not born. Laughing

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Re: Do you know what "a speakeasy" is ?

Message  gerardM le Mar 5 Fév - 11:05

Hi everyone,

3 letters in common with "speakeasy"...

Yesterday when I went to the Welcome desk at Carrefour, one of the two ladies there told the neighboring employee: "I go to ease myself".

Isn't it wonderful? In addition to the lowest prices (that's what they claim), when you go to Carrefour, you can also take English lessons. Twisted Evil
I talked with the lady (it wasn't that urgent) and gave her other terms ("to piddle", "restroom"...), she was stuck on Queen's English.
She was very proud especially as the colleague hadn't understood.

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Re: Do you know what "a speakeasy" is ?

Message  krystynaD le Dim 10 Fév - 1:05

I never knew that a speakeasy was an illegal saloon !

Conclusion ...
It is never too late to learn something new in one's own language !!!
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Re: Do you know what "a speakeasy" is ?

Message  krystynaD le Dim 10 Fév - 1:32

Hiya Gérard,
I was thinking about what the Carrefour lady said, and although it is understandable to me, it is not the expression that is commonly said.
Rather than "I go to ease myself" , it is more usual to say "I am going to relieve myself"
However, personally I would say, "I'm going to piddle" ! Smile
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Re: Do you know what "a speakeasy" is ?

Message  Remy le Dim 10 Fév - 9:40

Although that's not a language question, and probably you know it, I read that alcohol was drank twice the normal rate during the prohibition, thanks to mafia. As the mafia controled New York harbour, it could import alcohol from Europe and then distribute it in the speakeasy bars. Policeman and most of district attorneys closed their eyes on this use... Smile

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Re: Do you know what "a speakeasy" is ?

Message  MurielB le Dim 10 Fév - 11:32

krystynaD a écrit:, "I'm going to piddle" ! Smile
Hi Krystyna !
welcome back to the forum ! We are so pleased to read you again. I have never heard of that expression. Is it typical Australian ? Il only know "to spend a penny" or "To go to the loo "

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Re: Do you know what "a speakeasy" is ?

Message  gerardM le Dim 10 Fév - 11:47

Hi Muriel,

Language level in Australia isn't the same as in GB.

You can speak to the Queen with your "I'm going to the loo" Wink

Australians are more casual and Krystyna's words are the common expression.
A bit like b/w Quebec and France: Quebeckers are not as prim as the French.

Don't you know "to go to the Lady's", "to go to the Gent's" used in the UK?

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Re: Do you know what "a speakeasy" is ?

Message  gerardM le Dim 10 Fév - 12:03

Hi everyone,

Once again, there are various levels of language that are used with babies, with teens, with friends, with people in the street (whom you don't know), with officials, with doctors, with family, with the Queen, etc.
People wanting to be fluent in English, have to master all of these levels (understand and use properly).

Same problem fot E.II: Krystyna often tells me Liza likes swearwords and uses some with Phillip...

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Re: Do you know what "a speakeasy" is ?

Message  krystynaD le Dim 10 Fév - 12:14

Hi Muriel, Gérard et Remy,

To piddle is rather informal, and widely said in Australia.
I'm not so sure that it is used in British, I think they rather say "to go to the loo"

There are several theories about the origin of this informal British term "loo" for a toilet.

The first, and most popular, is that it derived from the cry of 'gardyloo' (from the French regardez l'eau 'watch out for the water'), which was shouted by medieval servants as they emptied chamber pots out of upstairs windows into the street.

A second theory is that the word derives from a polite use of the French term le lieu ('the place') as a euphemism.

A third theory refers to the trade name 'Waterloo', which appeared prominently displayed on the iron cisterns in many British outhouses during the early 20th century.

Which origin is correct ? qui sait !
I rather like the third theory.
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Re: Do you know what "a speakeasy" is ?

Message  gerardM le Dim 10 Fév - 12:31

Krystyna,

Thanks a lot for explanations by a connoisseur of En.
I'll remember the 3 theories: I like the 3.

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Please feel free to point out big mistakes in my messages in a foreign language. Thanks to your remarks, I'll be able to improve my level.
PS: Pls note that I chose American English for my vocabulary, grammar, spelling, culture, etc.  :-)
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