||[Oct. 3rd, 2006|08:36 am]
A Word to the Wise
'... the story of "grog" does manage to truthfully invoke both seafaring and, if not royalty, at least an Admiral. The story begins with Admiral Edward Vernon (1684-1757) of the British Royal Navy. In 1740, Admiral Vernon issued an order that henceforth all sailors in the Royal Navy would be served a daily ration of rum mixed with water. While that might sound like the sort of order that would be popular with seamen, it was not, because up until that point they had been entitled to a daily ration of undiluted ("neat") rum. |
The sailors of the Royal Navy were, to put it mildly, severely ticked off by Vernon's order. Vernon himself had long been known to the rank and file as "Old Grog," a reference to the grogram cloak he always wore aboard ship. ("Grogram," from the French "gros grain" (large grain), is a type of coarse cloth made of wool, mohair and silk.) Seething over their watered-down rum rations, the men quickly transferred the Admiral's nickname to the feeble drink itself, and rum cut with water was thereafter known in the Navy as "grog."'