I would like to know the real origins of the word (terminology) 'Hooch'. I have done some research here and here. However is there another point of view? If I make my own, can I call it 'Hooch'?

  • 1
    – wogsland
    Feb 16, 2017 at 13:30
  • English might be a better fit for this but I think it is OK here also.
    – paparazzo
    Feb 16, 2017 at 13:39
  • Yup, I thought about that - if anyone wants it migrated that is not a problem. Feb 16, 2017 at 13:45

1 Answer 1


Hooch means "cheap whiskey" and here is the origin of the term:

hooch (n.)

Also hootch, "cheap whiskey," 1897, shortened form of Hoochinoo (1877) "liquor made by Alaskan Indians," from the name of a native tribe in Alaska whose distilled liquor was a favorite with miners during the 1898 Klondike gold rush; the tribe's name is said by OED to be from Tlingit Hutsnuwu, literally "grizzly bear fort."

As the supply of whisky was very limited, and the throats down which it was poured were innumerable, it was found necessary to create some sort of a supply to meet the demand. This concoction was known as "hooch"; and disgusting as it is, it is doubtful if it is much more poisonous than the whisky itself. [M.H.E. Hayne, "The Pioneers of the Klondyke," London, 1897] - The Online Etymology Dictionary

  • Hooch was also used to describe the liquid that would separate from a sourdough starter. This term was used by the sourdough gold miners in Alaska and the Yukon. ( they are called sourdoughs because of the sourdough starter they brought with them and used to survive on. ) They may have only had flour and water at times and thus sustained themselves on that alone, keeping a working sourdough starter they could pour off the hooch and get a little buzz. i would not recommend it. .
    – Alaska Man
    Feb 26, 2017 at 12:44

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