MooT Question Icon
What beverage was named for Edward Vernon, the English admiral who served his crew diluted rum?

Etymology, Etymology, and more Etymology
as well as grammar, usage, euphemism, slang, jargon, semantics, linguistics, neologism, idiom, cant, and argot.

A picture of a moot game

The critically-acclaimed board game MooT
consists of tough questions about the nuances of the English language.
To join our mailing list and get
free brain-twisting MooT questions sent to you irregularly,
enter your email address and then press submit.

E-Mail address:

Back to home page

Answer: grog

The word grog first appears around 1770 and is supposedly an allusion to Old Grog, the nickname of Edward Vernon (1684-1757), a British admiral who regularly wore a grogram cloak and who in 1740 ordered his sailors' rum to be diluted - to improve discipline.

This rapidly became the standard way of serving the naval rum ration until the ration was abolished in 1970.

Note that: When the War of Jenkin's Ear against the Spanish broke out in 1739, Vernon captured their base at Porto Bello, Panama with only six ships.

Thomas Arne composed Rule Britannia as a tribute to this exploit.

Edward Vernon: warrior and temperance advocate


I always heard that grog was named due to the sailors of old being given fruit juice to prevent scurvy. As one might imagine, the juice became fermented thus making the sailors 'groggy', hence the name. I'm always interested in hearing origins. Thank you for your site. By the way, I found it simply by typing the word 'moot' into a search engine.
hppartridge at &

In response to, the term "limey" was the nickname given to the British sailors who first recognized the correlation between vitamin-C rich citrus and scurvy. The adjective "groggy" came from "grog."
blackthornba at

Someone (Barbara Tuchman maybe?) did a book on that war. I guess I'll have to read it again; that was such an eventful period. I was directed to MooT by googling odiferous (which is the spelling used by Arianna in her Arianna's Post).
jwood33 at comcast

Copyright 1998-2009 Blair Arts Ltd. All rights reserved.