under the counter

[under the counter] {adv. phr.}, {informal} Secretly (bought orsold).

That book has been banned, but there is one place you canget it under the counter.

The liquor dealer was arrested forselling beer under the counter to teenagers.

- Also used like anadjective, with hyphens.

During World War II, some stores keptscarce things hidden for under-the-counter-sales to good customers.