A WORD IN THE HAND: BOOT
Old shoe lugged into a car, as tronc is smuggled into a tusker’s trumpet
A column to satisfy your inner grammar nerd
A reader pointed out that in yesterday’s column about moonshine I neglected to explain the origins of “bootleg”. What an oversight. I must have been too busy dreaming of giant bottles of red wine.
Bootlegging comes quite logically from the practice of slipping an illegal bottle of hooch down the side of a high boot to conceal it.
Liquor smuggling continued to be called bootlegging even when other receptacles were used – although just the other day a suspicious metro cop asked me if he could look in my boot, so perhaps there has been some spillover into modern times...