• (to indulge in) alcoholic drink. The noun form, from the rum and hot water served in the British navy since the 18th century, can now refer to any strong drink, or even beer. It is generally heard among middle-aged speakers. The verb ‘to grog / grog up’ (in Australian English to ‘grog on’) is rarer and restricted mainly to a younger age group. It implies heavy and constant imbibing. ‘Old Grog’ (from the grogram, or silk and wool cloak he wore) was the nickname of Admiral Vernon who aroused his sailors by ordering the dilution of their rum ration in 1740.
  • to spit. The term is heard particularly in the Scottish Lowlands and the north of England.

Origin & History of “grog”

Grog comes from the nickname of Edward Vernon (1684–1757), the British admiral who in 1740 introduced the practice of serving rum and water (grog) to sailors in the royal navy rather than the hitherto customary neat rum (it was discontinued in 1970). His nickname was ‘Old Grogram’, said to be an allusion to the grogram cloak he always wore (grogram ‘coarse fabric’ (16th c.) comes from French gros grain, literally ‘coarse grain’). Groggy (18th c.), originally ‘drunk’, is a derivative.