under the counter = under the table
(with reference to goods bought or sold) surreptitiously and usually illegally
1994 - Coarse Fishing Today - The obvious danger is that river fish will be pinched and flogged under the counter.
Related Idioms :
run or ride against the direction taken by an animal or person hunted or sought
In Britain, the variants hunt counter and run counter are also found.
over the counter
by ordinary retail purchase, with no need for a prescription or licence
under the table :
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