"package store"

Lynne Murphy lynnem at COGS.SUSX.AC.UK
Thu Aug 31 17:01:24 UTC 2000

I doubt that the history of 'package store' is terribly relevant to
Lieberman's use of it--he just used it because he's from Connecticut.
These days it's not so much a euphemism as a regional term.


>Mr. Safire is interested in the origin of the term "package store," which
>Sen. Lieberman used in his speech at the DNC....
>According to the Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins (1977), the
>term was widely used after Prohibition as a euphemism for "liquor store" --
>"The expressions 'barroom' and 'liquor store' were ... taboo in many
>districts. So the euphemism 'package goods store' became widely used--later
>cut down to simple 'package store.'The meaning is simple: in such stores
>liquor is sold only in sealed containers (packages) for off-premises
>consumption." (Similar to Webster's 3rd. ed.: "a retail store where
>alcoholic beverages are sold by the bottle for drinking off the premises.")
>The OED cites an 1890 court decision reported in the Daily News of that
>year: "Judge Forster [of Kansas] recently decided that liquor could only be
>sold in 'original packages', which is construed as meaning one or more
>bottles of beer of whisky."
>Would any of you happen to have additional knowledge of the term's origin
>or history?
>Thanks for your help.
>Elizabeth Phillips
>Research Assistant
>"On Language"

Dr M Lynne Murphy
Lecturer in Linguistics
School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QH UK
phone +44-(0)1273-678844
fax    +44-(0)1273-671320

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