Etymology
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prohibition (n.)

late 14c., prohibicioun, "act of prohibiting or forbidding, a forbidding by authority, an order forbidding certain actions," from Anglo-French and Old French prohibition, prohibicion (early 13c.), from Latin prohibitionem (nominative prohibitio) "a hindering, forbidding; legal prohibition," noun of action from past-participle stem of prohibere "hold back, restrain, hinder, prevent," from pro "away, forth" (see pro-) + habere "to hold" (from PIE root *ghabh- "to give or receive").

The meaning "interdiction by law of the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages, except for medicinal or sacramental uses," is by 1851, American English. The national Prohibition party in the U.S. organized in 1869. The policy was in effect nationwide in U.S. as law 1920-1933 under the Volstead Act.

People whose youth did not coincide with the twenties never had our reverence for strong drink. Older men knew liquor before it became the symbol of a sacred cause. Kids who began drinking after 1933 take it as a matter of course. ... Drinking, we proved to ourselves our freedom as individuals and flouted Congress. We conformed to a popular type of dissent — dissent from a minority. It was the only period during which a fellow could be smug and slopped concurrently. [A.J. Liebling, "Between Meals," 1959]

Related: Prohibitionist; prohibitionism.

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*ghabh- 
also *ghebh-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to give or receive." The basic sense of the root probably is "to hold," which can be either in offering or in taking.

It forms all or part of: able; avoirdupois; binnacle; cohabit; cohabitation; debenture; debit; debt; dishabille; due; duty; endeavor; exhibit; exhibition; forgive; gavel; gift; give; habeas corpus; habiliment; habit; habitable; habitant; habitat; habitation; habitual; habituate; habituation; habitude; habitue; inhabit; inhibit; inhibition; malady; prebend; prohibit; prohibition; provender.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit gabhasti- "hand, forearm;" Latin habere "to have, hold, possess," habitus "condition, demeanor, appearance, dress;" Old Irish gaibim "I take, hold, I have," gabal "act of taking;" Lithuanian gabana "armful," gabenti "to remove;" Gothic gabei "riches;" Old English giefan, Old Norse gefa "to give."
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bathtub (n.)
also bath-tub, 1837, from bath + tub. Prohibition-era bathtub gin is recorded by 1928.
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big shot (n.)
"important person," 1929, American English, from Prohibition-era gangster slang; earlier in the same sense was great shot (1861). Ultimately a reference to large type of gunshot; see shot (n.).
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inhibition (n.)
late 14c., "formal prohibition; interdiction of legal proceedings by authority;" also, the document setting forth such a prohibition, from Old French inibicion and directly from Latin inhibitionem (nominative inhibitio) "a restraining," from past participle stem of inhibere "to hold in, hold back, keep back," from in- "in, on" (from PIE root *en "in") + habere "to hold" (from PIE root *ghabh- "to give or receive"). Psychological sense of "involuntary check on an expression of an impulse" is from 1876.
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Volstead 
in reference to Prohibition legislation in U.S., 1920, from U.S. Rep. Andrew J. Volstead (1860-1947), Republican of Minnesota, who introduced the bill in 1919 that prohibited the manufacture, transportation, and sale of beverages containing more than 0.5 percent alcohol.
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ban (n.1)

c. 1300, "proclamation or edict of an overlord," from Old English (ge)bann "proclamation, summons, command" and cognate Old French ban "decree, announcement," which is from a Germanic language, from Proto-Germanic *bannaz (source also of Old Frisian bon "order, commandment; jurisdiction, penalty; eternal damnation, excommunication," Old Saxon bann "commandment, prohibition"), from *bannan "to speak publicly" (used in reference to various sorts of proclamations), "command; summon; outlaw, forbid" (see ban (v.)). Meaning "an authoritative prohibition" is from 1660s. There are noun forms in most of the Germanic languages, from the verbs. Compare banns.

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speakeasy (n.)
"unlicensed saloon," 1889 (in the New York "Voice"), from verbal phrase, from speak (v.) + easy (adv.); so called from the practice of speaking quietly about such a place in public, or when inside it, so as not to alert the police and neighbors. The word gained wide currency in U.S. during Prohibition (1920-1932). In early 19c. Irish and British dialect, a speak softly shop meant "smuggler's den."
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bootlegger (n.)
also boot-legger, 1889, from bootleg (q.v.). The word enjoyed great popularity in the U.S. during Prohibition (1920-1933), and the abstracted element -legger was briefly active in word-formation, e.g. meatlegger during World War II rationing, booklegger for those who imported banned titles such as "Ulysses."
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bust (v.)
"to burst," 1806, variant of burst (v.); for loss of -r-, compare ass (n.2). Meaning "go bankrupt" is from 1834. Meaning "break (into)" is from 1859. The slang meaning "demote" (especially in a military sense) is from 1918; that of "place under arrest" is from 1953 (earlier "to raid" from Prohibition). In card games, "to go over a score of 21," from 1939. Related: Busted; busting.
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