Bootleg or bootlegging usually refers to making, transporting and/or selling illegal alcoholic liquor or copyrighted material.
The term originates from concealing hip flasks of alcohol in the legging of boots. These flasks are nowadays collector’s item. It size is suited for a trouser pocket or hiding in the stocking under the petticoats. That is why the term is called bootlegging.
The hip flask began to appear in the form recognized today in the 18th century, initially used by members of the gentry. During the 18th century, women boarding docked British warships would smuggle gin into the ship via makeshift flasks, created from pig’s bladders and hidden inside their petticoats.
Antique hip flasks, particularly those made of silver, are now sought-after collector’s items. The hip flask appears frequently in comedy, in part because it allows drinking in inappropriate situations where a bottle would not be found. In older Indian movies, villains like Pran used to take sips from hip flask while lying in the hospital bed or attending a function where liquor was prohibited. These days this item has virtually disappeared from the public use.