Where does the word “Moonshine” come from and What does Moonshine mean?

Perhaps a good covering definition of the word moonshine would be an operation or a product achieved in the light of the moon.

In England, the operation is that of smuggling spirits into the country without the payment of excise.

In America, the end objective is the same and the product is also spirits, but the spirits are produced within the country by stealth and in violation of law.

Neither usage is old.

That of England dates back barely more than a century and a half, and that of America has perhaps half that age.