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From Irish síbín.



shebeen (plural shebeens)

  1. An unlicensed drinking establishment, especially in Ireland, Scotland, and South Africa.
    • 1979, André Brink, A Dry White Season, Vintage 1998, p. 178:
      ‘Well, let's line,’ he said to Ben. ‘We can fill up at a shebeen.’
    • 1994, Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, Abacus 2010, p. 88:
      On almost every corner there were shebeens, illegal saloons that were shacks where home-brewed beer was served.
    • 2010, Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22, Atlantic 2011, p. 146:
      Every night and day there were bombs and gunshots and riots and roundups, and it didn't take long to gain access to the bars and shebeens where these things were discussed with a certain knowingness.

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