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Brian Macartney
1023395.  Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:14 pm Reply with quote

My problem is Grog. Here in the West Indies its assumed to refer to rum and the British Navy with many explanations of the component initials, mostly for advertising purposes. I know that the first legal distilleries were established in the United Kingdom in the 1600s. I also suspect most Naval vessels then as now had a still on board, though this was extremely dangerous on wooden boats, even well soaked ones, and would eventually be destroyed on principle. I suspect that the Navy took on rum for the crew because it was cheap and saved the risk of fire. I also have a memory of the use of Grog in much earlier writings.

 
Jenny
1023551.  Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:11 pm Reply with quote

According to wiki, which accords with my understanding (but both of us are naturally open to dispute):

Quote:
The word originally referred to a drink made with water or "small beer" (a weak beer) and rum, which British Vice Admiral Edward Vernon introduced into the Royal Navy on 21 August 1740. Vernon wore a coat of grogram cloth and was nicknamed Old Grogram or Old Grog. Modern versions of the drink are often made with hot or boiling water, and sometimes include lemon juice, lime juice, cinnamon or sugar to improve the taste. Rum with water, sugar and nutmeg was known as bumbo and was more popular with pirates and merchantmen.
...The name "grog" probably came from the nickname of Admiral Vernon, who was known as "Old Grog" because he wore a grogram cloak. American Dialect Society member Stephen Goranson has shown that the term was in use by 1749, when Vernon was still alive.[2] A biographer of Daniel Defoe has suggested that the derivation from "Old Grog" is wrong because Defoe used the term in 1718,[3] but this is based on a miscitation of Defoe's work, which actually used the word "ginger."[4]

 
dr.bob
1024011.  Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:54 am Reply with quote

<snigger>

"bumbo" :-D

 
sally carr
1024014.  Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:57 am Reply with quote

My granddad reckoned that he got the bar to his Military Medal for fiddling extra rum rations.

 
swot
1024019.  Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:13 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
<snigger>

"bumbo" :-D


Also the name of a seat for little children, which makes it no less amusing.

 
BobTheScientist
1024104.  Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:54 am Reply with quote

Brian Macartney wrote:
I also suspect most Naval vessels then as now had a still on board, though this was extremely dangerous on wooden boats, even well soaked ones, and would eventually be destroyed on principle. I suspect that the Navy took on rum for the crew because it was cheap and saved the risk of fire. I

You're right about twitchiness on matters of fire in sailing ships, but the use of rum is more to do with saving space than preventing conflagration.
http://blobthescientist.blogspot.ie/2013/07/drunken-sailors.html
Takes the subject up and runs off in a totally other direction.

 
Marsupial Bob
1024217.  Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:00 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
According to wiki, which accords with my understanding (but both of us are naturally open to dispute):


No dispute here. I'm familiar with grog as rum, water and a dash of lime juice, drunk hot. Did not know about the nutmeg/bumbo distinction though; I've tended to lump that in with grog.

The Ministry agrees as well:

Quote:
By 1650, a pint of rum had been unofficially adopted as part of the sailor's daily ration. Competition for rum sales and for the security that armed ships brought with them was fierce among the planters. Even the island governors supported selling rum to the navy, a move they hoped would help keep the pirates at bay. Then in 1687, to appease the governors and guarantee the supply of spirits for their sailors, the Royal Navy officially adopted a mixture of rum from the English Caribbean islands as part of the crew's daily allotment. Ships were dispatched to collect and distribute this special blend that would be carried on all Royal Navy ships around the world. Thus began a statutory naval tradition that would last almost three hundred years: rum and the sea.

The Caribbean spirit came out of the still at 140 proof and was a lot stronger than the beer and wine it replaced. Drinking a pint of West Indian rum every day caused such disorder among the sailors that Admiral Edward Vernon ordered that the ration be diluted with two parts water prior to issue. He also decreed that sugar and lime juice be made available as a reward for good behavior. Sailors endorsed the Admiral's order and christened the new ration grog, in honor of their hero who led them to battle wearing his finest grogam coat.


Rum-and-shrub is something of a similar beast if drunk in the traditional preparation. I can't really describe shrub, but the combination is nice enough, if not a little strange.

 
tetsabb
1024226.  Mon Sep 23, 2013 3:28 pm Reply with quote

The idea of drinking 1/3 pint of rum (once watered down) and then climbing up into the rigging is a thought that makes me feel quite peculiar.
Does this suggest that the British fleet for a long period was permanently pissed? If so, what state were the French in when it came to Trafalgar?
Unless having a pissed crew meant that they would do utterly insane things that no sober person would even consider.

 
nitwit02
1024269.  Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:55 pm Reply with quote

I'm assuming that it was the consumption of grog, that led to the phrase, 'I'm feeling a bit groggy this morning'.

 
suze
1024420.  Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:49 am Reply with quote

Yes.

Groggy in the more general sense of feeling half-dead even if not through overindulgence in strong drink is first noted as a boxing term, and moved into general currency from there.

 

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