Build your vocabulary with Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day! Each day a Merriam-Webster editor offers insight into a fascinating new word -- explaining its meaning, current use, and little-known details about its origin.
August 25th, 2015
Episode 299 of 688 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 25, 2015 is: grog \GRAHG\ noun : alcoholic liquor; especially : liquor (such as rum) cut with water and now often served hot with lemon juice and sometimes sugar Examples: The reviewer praised the restaurant for serving an eclectic range of beers and wines and not just any old grog. "In 1917 the Historical Society of the Town of Warwick held its first George Washington Day Picnic to celebrate and commemorate the visit of Washington and his entourage to Warwick's Baird's Tavern. A meticulous record keeper, Washington recorded this 1782 visit in his journal along with an itemized purchase of grog." Roger Gavan, The Warwick (New York) Advertiser, July 16, 2015 Did you know? Eighteenth-century English admiral Edward Vernon reputedly earned the nickname "Old Grog" because he often wore a cloak made from grogram (a coarse, loosely woven fabric made of silk or silk blended with mohair or wool). In Old Grog's day, sailors in the Royal Navy were customarily given a daily ration of rum, but in 1740 the admiral, concerned about the health of his men, ordered that the rum should be diluted with water. The decision wasn't very popular with the sailors, who supposedly dubbed the mixture grog after Vernon. Today, grog can be used as a general term for any liquor, even undiluted, and someone who acts drunk or shaky can be called groggy.