from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Unlawfully distilled Irish whiskey.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Illegally produced Irish whiskey; moonshine.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Whisky; especially whisky distilled in a small way privately or illicitly by the Irish peasantry.
  • n. especially, whisky illicitly distilled by the Irish peasantry.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Whisky made in Ireland, especially that which is illicitly distilled, sometimes very strong.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. unlawfully distilled Irish whiskey


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Irish Gaelic poitín, small pot, poteen, from pota, pot, from English pot1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Irish poitín ("little pot").


  • On behalf of my client, Mrs. Fennell, I wish to impress upon the Bench the gravity of the offence with which the accused Richard Fennell is charged, namely, drunkenness from excessive use of an illegal intoxicant known as poteen, house-breaking, terrorizing and almost paralyzing with fear his highly strung and sensitive wife, and adding insult to injury in resisting arrest by his Majesty's guardian of law and order,

    Duty, and other Irish Comedies

  • The only case before us to-day is one of house-breaking, drunkenness from excessive use of poteen, which is an illegal drink, and resisting arrest by the police.

    Duty, and other Irish Comedies

  • Before going at the piles of splintered remains with wooden mallets, Mick and Mairtin get juiced on a potent Irish moonshine called poteen and fiddle with the unearthed bits.

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  • No vile new-fangled heresies, such as crushed mint, lump ice, shortage of "poteen," found favor in his eyes

    Recollections and reflections : an auto of half a century and more,

  • The eradication of 'whisky trading', for example, was used in this way by the Canadian Mounted Police in the 19th century. 91 The elimination of 'poteen' production was used as an excuse by the British for evicting the Irish during the land clearances in the last century. '

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  • In a word “poteen” on December 7, 2009 at 9: 51 pm Tony F

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  • The brain damaging poteen, the bullying violence, the wife beating, the abuse of children and the bigotry.

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  • At the start, Amis announces certain 'general principles' to be followed in creating drinks, all of which can be derived, by natural drinkers 'logic, from the first of them, which holds that' up to a point [i.e. short of offering your guests one of those Balkan plonks marketed as wine, Cyprus sherry, poteen and the like], go for quantity rather than quality '.

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  • The priest says "Ah to be sure a dram of poteen would surely hit the spot"

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  • At the time, the atmosphere in Belfast was like Irish poteen liquor: boiled and fermented, distilled into something potent and unlawful.

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  • ""Downing poteen like water," she said. Off I went. He was out of his tree and nobody in the house was able to hold him down. You couldn't say they weren't a bunch of wimps..."

    The Dirty Dust by Máirtín Ó Cadhain, translated by Alan Titley, p 37

    June 5, 2016

  • According to an online nutrition site, "...the amount of protein in a Whiskey is approximately 0 g."

    There's no protein in poteen.


    June 14, 2013

  • give everyman his dew

    March 18, 2009

  • "'There'll be one good day's work done on the head of the trial,' she said.

    'How so?' asked the sergeant.

    'Dan Canty will make a great brew of poteen while he have all yeer backs turned.'

    'I'll get Dan Canty yet,' replied the sergeant stiffly.

    - Frank O'Connor, 'In The Train'.

    September 6, 2008

  • There's a neat little still at the foot of the hill,

    Where the smoke curls up to the sky

    By a whiff of the smell you can plainly tell

    That there's poteen boys close by.

    For it fills the air with a perfume rare

    And betwixt both me and you

    As home we roll, we can drink a bowl

    Or a bucketful of mountain dew.

    --"Mountain Dew," trad. arr. The Pogues

    p.s. I posted the lyrics on the mountain dew page some time ago. I am so completely lazy that instead of checking there first, I posted them here from Wikipedia. So sue me.

    October 23, 2007