Listen, rummy, I’m gonna say it plain and simple: Where’d you pinch the hooch? Is some blind tiger jerking suds on the side? — Rex Banner, “Homer vs. The Eighteenth Amendment”
The term “blind pig” (or “blind tiger”) originated in the United States in the 19th century; it was applied to lower-class establishments that sold alcoholic beverages illegally. The operator of an establishment (such as a saloon or bar) would charge customers to see an attraction (such as an animal) and then serve a “complimentary” alcoholic beverage, thus circumventing the law.
But then these guys were like:
The most popular definition had it that small toy animals, often tigers, were placed on the tables of restaurants to indicate there were back rooms where a man could get a drink or gamble. The tiger, of course, turned a blind eye on such moralizing behavior!
And this is straight from the NYT (in 1885):
The “blind tiger” is a house where the people can get whisky but do not know from whom they buy it. There is a hole in the side of the house with printed instructions above it. You place your bottle and money in the hole and both disappear, but in a few minutes your bottle returns full of whisky.
That last one sounds pretty cool, actually. So, to summarize, a “blind tiger” is some kind of alcohol shop by which weeds are removed from a garden. And with prohibition set to expire any day now, local merchants are sure to cash in.
For sale: one pirated copy of Photoshop. Never worn.