Green’s Dictionary of Slang

grog n.1

[abbr. SE grogram, ‘a coarse fabric of silk, of mohair and wool, or of these mixed with silk’ (OED). Orig. applied as a nickname for Admiral Vernon, known as ‘Old Grog’, because he wore a grogram cloak. The name was transferred to the mixture of rum and water, which in August 1740 he ordered should be served instead of the RN’s usual issue of neat rum; however, the 19C Roxburghe Ballads collection includes one such ballad, dated 1672–85, which contains the word ‘grog’ and would thus seem to overturn this otherwise accepted ety. Further note M. Quinion (letter 14/03/08): ‘Ebsworth, [...] was a scrupulous editor, and his dating ought to be on the mark. But it’s a one-off example. I’m also bothered by finding the same line in a ballad about a sailor named Jack Robinson, which was published in a collection of comic songs by Thomas Hudson in 1818. The three lines read “Ibruisn a public-house then they both sot down / And talk’d of admirals of high renown / And drunk’d as much grog as come to half-a-crown.” The unknown author may just have borrowed a couple of good lines, of course (such plagiarism was common) but the reference to admirals, and the general tone of the piece, hints that it (and presumably therefore the supposed Roxburghe Ballad) might have been written after 1740 in knowledge of the Vernon story.’]

1. (also Mr Grog) alcohol, orig. rum but soon generic for any intoxicating liquor, whether beer or spirits.

[UK] ‘Pensive Maid’ in Ebsworth Roxburghe Ballads (1891) VII:2 513: In a public-house then they both sot down, / [...] / And drunk’d as much grog as come to half-a-crown.
[UK]Derby Mercury 3 Feb. 1/2: I am sure we deserved it, for we lived at short Allowance [...] short Allowance of Grog was the worst of all.
[UK]G. Colman Jealous Wife IV i: maj.: Are you very fond of fighting, Sir? o’cut.: Indeed I am [...] I love it better than grog.
[UK]Scots Mag. 1 Dec. 7/1: As every man on board hath as much small beer as he chuses to drink, a quantity of this liquor should be taken up daily, equal to the allowance of grog.
Northants. Mercury 1 July 2/1: Ordered [...] that the Sons of St Patrick do meet Col. M’Lean on the Parade [...] to drink Grog.
[US] in F. Moore Songs and Ballads of the Amer. Revolution (1855) 314: His horse that carried all his prog [...] His corn-stock whiskey for his grog.
[UK]Hants. Chron. 8 May 4/1: Tom Carbuncle’s dead! by Grog knock’d o’ th’ head.
[Ire]J. O’Keeffe Sprigs of Laurel 42: To fight or kiss or touch the grog, / Oh! I’m a jovial midshipman.
[UK] ‘Tom Tough’ in Patriotic Songster 7: So push round the grog, / While we’ve that and our prog, / We’ll laugh [...] and sing yo heave ho.
[UK] ‘Poor Joe’ City of London Collection 7: His messmates to this very day, / When o’er the smiling grog, or nappy [...] sighing say, / God rest his honest soul he’s happy.
[UK] ‘Sam Booze’s Funeral’ in Lummy Chaunter 85: His chummies, who were numerous, / To celebrate his dying, / A supper held, so humorous, / And mix’d their grog with crying.
[UK] ‘Ben Backstay the Boatswain’ Lover’s Harmony No. 18 141: Our captain, who was a jolly dog, / One day he gave to every man a double share of grog.
[Aus]Satirist & Sporting Chron. (Sydney) 4 Feb. 2/3: Thirty shillings per week rent, ten shillings for board and six-pence a day for [...] grog.
[Ind]Bellew Memoirs of a Griffin I 99: ‘I can give you a glass of grog, gentlemen, and a bit of curry’.
[UK]G.W.M. Reynolds Mysteries of London II (2nd series) 159: I will give you a bit of dinner – and may be a glass of grog.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 3 Feb. 3/2: With both the flesh full of grog, and t’other skin full of cash, he again wiped his specs and departed.
[UK]Thackeray Newcomes I 239: I will [...] stand a glass of grog.
[UK]T. Hughes Tom Brown at Oxford (1880) 56: Have a glass of grog; it’s first-rate whiskey.
[Aus]Clarence & Richmond Examiner (Grafton, NSW) 13 Jan. 15/6: Note by Sambo [...] Budgery Cook [...] he been gib dis black-fellar plenty patter, plenty grog.
[Aus]C. Money Knocking About in N.Z. 112: We had expected to find also a couple of bottles of grog.
[Aus]Sth Aus. Register (Adelaide) 26 Feb. 7/4: He directly gave information to the police, and the same night they apprehended several natives who were getting intoxicated on the grog at a short distance from the town.
[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ Robbery Under Arms (1922) 3: We’d been drinking all night at that Willow Tree shanty. Bad grog, too!
[Aus]‘Price Warung’ Tales of the Early Days 282: They sell their breeches for grog.
B. Stoker Dracula (1993) 142: After a stiff glass of grog, or rather more of the same, and with each a sovereign in hand, they made light of the attack.
[UK]Boy’s Own Paper 23 Mar. 386: The boys had neither grog nor tobacco.
[US]Mower County (Lansing, MN) 7 June 1/5: The Russian sailors [...] get too groggy, and the Japs cut out the grog.
[UK]‘Sapper’ Human Touch 25: Waiter – a lemon. I ordered some to-day specially for the grog.
[Aus]W. Hay Escape of Notorious Sir William Heans [ebook] ‘There was another one when she had old Thomas Thou to experiment on the grog - I mean the garden’.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 708: [...] drunken old devil with his grog on the windowsill.
[Aus]X. Herbert Capricornia (1939) 13: He began to consider himself a finished Booze Artist, not knowing how he carried his grog [...] since he learnt the trick of taking a hair of the dog.
[US]C. Himes ‘Let Me at the Enemy’ in Coll. Stories (1990) 37: You pays two bucks to get in this joint, fo’ bucks for a half pint grog.
[Aus](con. 1941) E. Lambert Twenty Thousand Thieves 13: It was only the grog working out.
[Aus]D. Hewett Bobbin Up (1961) 62: Fat lot of chaperoning Mumma could do after a night on the grog.
[NZ]B. Crump ‘One of Us’ in Best of Barry Crump (1974) 134: If yer can’t take yer grog, lay orf it a bit. The beer won’t do yer any ’arm but keep orf the top shelf and leave the plonk and the meths alone.
[US]D. Claerbaut Black Jargon in White America 67: grogn. beer.
[UK]Beano Comic Library No. 181 35: Sure! I’m off for some grog, now.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 25 Sept. 20: A promotion of grub and grog from his prodigious state.
[US]Mad mag. Mar. 25: I’ve been hitting the grog pretty hard.
[Aus]P. Temple Broken Shore (2007) [ebook] He ran wine around his mouth [...] ‘This isn’t just any grog,’ he said. ‘But wasted on some’.

2. a party at which grog is drunk.

[UK]Sir M. Mackenzie Case of Emperor Frederick III 261: Dr. Bramann had the privilege of meeting these officers at a ‘Grog’ which was held every evening in the Reading Room of the Hôtel Mediterranée .

3. (Aus.) a drink of beer.

[Aus]K. Tennant Joyful Condemned 33: Ar, come round to the ‘Fortune’ and we’ll have a few grogs.
[Aus]G. Casey Snowball 118: He’d rather come to my place [...] than he would chase a girl or have a few grogs.
[Aus]P. Pinney Restless Men 110: I ain’t had a grog or a smoke in seven weeks.
[Aus](con. c.1900) K. Denton Breaker 16: Everyone wanted to shout a grog for Harry Morant.
[Aus]Canberra Times (ACT) 29 June 3/8: A well-known journo, fortified with a few grogs, got to his feet and embarrassed all and sundry.
[Aus]Canberra Times (ACT) 30 Apr. 21/7: I look upon an icy cold beer as one of life's true and pure joys. As a professional athlete I find the great thing about throwing back a few grogs is that you can run it out of your system the following morning.

4. (mainly juv.) tea.

[UK]I. & P. Opie Lore and Lang. of Schoolchildren (1977) 185: Tea is ‘char’, ‘grog’, or ‘jungle juice’.

In derivatives

groggishness (n.)


[UK]W. Perry London Guide 136: An invitattion to walk into that sanctum sanctorum of all groggishness follows, where the women as well as the n take their drops of eye-water.

In compounds

grog artist (n.) [-artist sfx]

(Aus./N.Z.) a heavy drinker, a drunkard.

[Aus]Forbes Advocate (NSW) 16 Apr. 3/4: ‘My advice to you is to leave alcohol alone for a while and seek work.’ The grog artist scratched his head, and with a puzzled look asked the C.P.S. ‘Who’s Quirk?’.
G. Lord God & All His Angels 138: I’m a lush, a piss-head, a good old-fashioned grog artist. I do in fact like screwing better than drinking, as it happens, but you really can't spend all day in bed screwing, can you? But you can spend most of the day drinking and most of the night.
M. Gee Coll. Stories 14: A hard man, a grog-artist, a smooth line with the girls. He could live up to that for a while.
H. Hodgman Blue Skies 93: Drinking nothing but flaming tea. Time was when things were different. Proper grog artist, I was. A regular flaming piss artist.
[Aus]G. Seal Lingo 48: Then there is grogging on, grog artist, on the grog and a grog up.
B. Condon Daredevils 95: We do the camping-out thing and he tells me his secrets – how he used to be a grog artist before he met Mum – the whole life story.
grog bruiser (n.)

a drunkard.

Eve. Fireside I 223/1: Let the strongest grog bruiser come and try a fall at wrestling with me, a temperate water temperate drinker.
[US]N.-Y. Eve. Post 11 Feb. 2/1: [headline] A stout grog bruiser.
J. Adlum Cultivation of Vine in Amer. 45: I can dismiss the brandy to the grog bruiser and retain the pure wine for the wise, the witty, &c.
P. Dow Dealings of God, Man, & the Devil 171: As he had been a grog-bruiser, and a debtor for spirits at tipling houses, many had despaired of ever getting their money.
Methodist Qly Rev. Oct. in Crane Stephen Crane’s Literary Family 91: What if a gambler, a swindler, or a grogbruiser be found sitting among lawmakers? Do not gamblers, swindlers, and grogbruisers dwell in this goodly land?
A. Calkins Opium & Opium-Appetite 280: The veteran grog-bruiser subsiding and rising again with the oscillating wave may perchance in a desperate spring [...] ride the o’ertopping crest as to plant firm foot on the solid marge beyond.
grog fight (n.)

(orig. milit.) a drinking party.

1863E.W. Jacob (ed.) Something New 17: it is usual to call such opportunities supper parties at the University, but ‘grog-fight’ is the more intelligible and legitimate expression current in the army.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[UK]R.M. Jephson Girl He Left Behind Him 9: Young Hardup’s long-suffering parent had just delivered him out of the hands of the Jews, and he had been having a ‘grog-fight’ in his room to celebrate the event.
S.J. MacKenna Brave Men in Action 282: Each man running to his station as merrily and as fast as he would to a grog-fight.
groghead (n.) [-head sfx (4)]

(US) a drunkard.

[US]Neurotica 1-9 n.p.: hey doc i said how about it one more round shout if you must at this old groghead two more beers.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Mama Black Widow 37: The grogheads, whore-mongers and crap shooters.
grog hole (n.)

(US) a public house.

[US]Knickerbocker (N.Y.) XVIII 521: He was busy about the village, penetrating every grog-hole and gambling-alley [DA].
Wisconsin Farmer June 195/2: As usual, a number of idle fellows gather into a village groghole to spend the passing hour.
grog mill (n.) [on pattern of gin-mill n.]

(US) a rough or illicit drinking place, also attrib.

Brooklyn Eve. Star (NY) 15 Oct. 2/5: Night-Watchmen [can] admire the caricature of a ‘Know-Nothing’ candidate in front of a grog mill opposite.
[US]Philadelphia Inquirer (PA) 29 Nov. 3/5: Three boys [...] found in a low grog mill [were] insensible from the efects of whisky.
Times (Philadelphia, PA) 6 May 4/1: He steadied himself against the corner of a friendly grog mill.
[US]Hawaiian Gaz. (Honolulu, HI) 15 July 3/1: Our new grog mill don’t seem to be a very paying concern.
Nebraska State Jrnl 17 Oct. 12/5: Does she vainly imagine that it will convert the drunkard or close one grog mill?
Eve. Chron. (Charlotte, NC) 25 July 4/3: Any town is beter off with open saloons [...] and strict police regulations than with a [...] grog mill.
[US]L.A. Times 2 Feb. 26/3: The grog-mill was the hub of San Francisco’s life.
Amer. Jrnl Clinical Medicine 28 724: I saw he wouldn’t last long hanging around old Felby’s grog mill.
Pittsburg Courier (PA) 19 Sept. 11: T’other day I met up with Gutfoot over at Kid Screwtop’s grog mill.
[US]‘J. Evans’ Halo in Brass 33: No grog-mill cuties with peekaboo blouses [HDAS].
Pocono Record (Stroudsburg, PA) 1 Dec. 7/2: Habitues of Harry Hill’s gin and grog mill.
(con. mid-18C) D.H. Corkran Cherokee Frontier 40: A few drams at a backwoods grog mill.
E.P. Kindwall Unexpected Odyssey 172: [A] man I’d met the night before at the White Horse (local grog mill).
grog shanty (n.)

(US/Aus./N.Z.) a public house; also attrib.

[UK] in Gent.’s Mag. 30: A ragged dirty looking Indian, who was standing at a grog shanty door.
[Aus]Melbourne Punch 2 Aug. 181/2: The only roof under which he is known to seat himself is that of a public house in town, or a wayside grog shanty in the bush, where he wrangles with brother bullock drivers as to the merits of tlieir respective teams.
[UK]Star (Ballarat, Vic.) 2 Feb. 2/4: The defendant asked Mary Burgess if she had not before been employed in a ‘grog shanty’ [...] The Police Magistrate desired Mr Burke [...] to use the English language in preference to slang terms.
[NZ]Auckland Punch 163/1: I [...] reached the grog-shanty in safety .
[Aus]Melbourne Punch 12 Dec. 191/1: We were all down drinking at Mother Holden’s grog shanty, at Bull Town. There was ‘Jack the Splitter,’ ‘Harry my Friend,’ ‘Good-day Dick,’ ‘Wrong to Blazes Bob,’ ‘Joe the Victim,’ ‘German Harry,’ ‘Three Spree Jim’ [etc.].
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 4 Apr. 10/3: He was the proprietor in fee-simple of a lordly grog shanty in Wairarapa, N.Z., and was doing ‘devilish’ well, as times go, earning an honest crust, and putting up a little pile against a sou’-wester or a rainy season.
[Aus]J.S. Borlase Blue Cap, the Bushranger 96/2: A short distance from where we were camped there was a grog shanty.
[UK]‘Aus. Colloquialisms’ in All Year Round 30 July 67/1: Log huts are commonly called ‘shanties,’ and a curse of the bush districts [...] is the ‘grog-shanty,’ an institution only too common.
[Aus]G. Boothby On the Wallaby 259: It was described to us as ‘a place of dead dogs, broken-down grog shanties, and one drunkard’.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 27 Sept. 1/1: The capers therein [i.e. a lodging house] would disgrace a mulga grog-shanty.
K. Harris Outback in Aus. 109: He ‘stocked’ himself at the wayside grog-shanty, and took a couple of bottles with him.
[Aus]X. Herbert Capricornia (1939) 341: She got a grog-shanty up the depot now.
(ref. 1840–50) P. Sumerling Down at the Local 95: Three different publicans owned the property between 1840 and 1850 and there is reference by local historian, Jim Warburton, to a grog shanty in Kensington ...
grog shop (n.)

1. (also grog store) a public house, a bar, often unlicensed.

[WI]J.B. Moreton West India Customs and Manners 35: There are some good taverns, [...] also an incredible number of petty ones, called grog shops, occupied by people of the vilest characters.
Mass. Mercury 2 May n.p.: Are they not busy, day and night, at the corners of the streets, at grog shops, and other places of resort?
Boston Gazette 7 Dec. n.p.: Till they should be landed safely in a grog-shop or tavern.
[US]Mass. Spy 8 Apr. n.p.: Talking loudly in taverns and grog-shops.
[UK]Marryat Peter Simple (1911) 58: About half-a-dozen men, whom they had picked up in the different alehouses or grog-shops, as the sailors call them.
[A. Harris] (con. 1820s) Settlers & Convicts 12: At this time there were nearly twice as many unlicensed grog-shops as licensed public-house in the town of Sydney.
[US]G.G. Foster N.Y. in Slices 44: The worst feature in the character of the B’hoy is his dissipation– his worst enemy the grog-shop, the three-cent cellar, or the liquor-grocery on the corner.
[Aus]G.C. Mundy Our Antipodes III 76: The undersized native-born denizens of the Sydney streets and grog-shops.
[US]R.F. Burton City of the Saints 171: The station boasts [...] a post-office, a store, and of course a grog-shop.
[US]Galaxy (N.Y.) Feb. 827: The licensed grog-shops over 7,000 in number, and the gambling establishments, including 92 faro banks and all the places where lottery tickets are sold, less than 600.
[UK]R.L. Stevenson Treasure Island 2: This is [...] a pleasant sittyated grog-shop. Much company, mate?
[US](con. 1875) F.T. Bullen Cruise of the ‘Cachalot’ 314: I was grieved to see almost the whole crowd [...] emerge from the grog-shop plentifully supplied with bottles.
[UK]H. Macfall Wooings of Jezebel Pettyfer 119: The man who kept the common lodging-house and grog-shop at Kingston.
[US]F.H. Tillotson How I Became a Detective 89: ‘Grog store’ a saloon.
[UK]‘Bartimeus’ ‘Concerning the Sailor-Man’ in Naval Occasions 210: Was it a meeting with a Yankee tar in some foreign grog-shop that tempted him with tales of a higher pay and greater independence?
[US]Capt. Billy’s Whiz Bang Oct. 5: Drier than an Algerian caravan in the Sahara desert, 20 miles from the oasis grog shop.
[US]H. Asbury Gangs of N.Y. 69: But Lowrie himself was caught in a dock robbery soon after he started his grog-shop.
[US]C. McKay Gingertown 223: The grogshop-keeper demonstrated his appreciation of Sue by setting up a round of drinks for all the people in the shop.
[US](con. 1900s) C. McKay Banana Bottom 107: The grog shop filled with deep belly-shaking laughter.
[US]R.L. Bellem ‘Dead Don’t Dream’ in Hollywood Detective July [Internet] When you’re hunting a drunk, you haunt the grog shops where he’s likely to be.
[US]B. Schulberg Harder They Fall (1971) 298: Danny was squandering his time and his money in the grog shops and the horse room.
[Aus]‘Nino Culotta’ Cop This Lot 95: Wot time do the grog shops shut?
[UK]S. Hugill Sailortown 6: A few wooden shacks, mostly grog-shops and dives.
[Aus]A. Summers Damned Whores and God’s Police 356: [S]mall wonder that the out-patients department was regarded as a free grog shop.
[US]D. Woodrell Muscle for the Wing 126: He shook down the pimps and the prostitutes, grogshop owners, and aristocrats.

2. the mouth.

[UK]Thackeray Mr and Mrs. Frank Berry (1887) 97: Claret drawn in profusion from the gown-boy’s grog-shop. (He went down, and split his front teeth).

In phrases

hit the grog (v.)

to get drunk.

[Aus]Sun (Sydney) 12 Aug. 8/3: Every time Mr. Smith hit the grog, he hit her and she hit the ground.
[Aus]T. Winton That Eye, The Sky 70: I think he’s hit the grog a bit.
on the grog (adj.)

(Aus.) very drunk.

Freeman’s Jrnl (Sydney) 16 Feb. 15/1: [B]ut the fact of the Echo being the only paper here that quoted the awful lines seems to prove that ‘Granny’ must either be on the grog again, or else her loyal editor has gone to Bourke for change of air and left ‘Tim Fogarty’ in charge of his bantling.
[Aus]Narromine News and Trangie Advocate (NSW) 21 Nov. 5/1: I was right off me tucker, an’ well on the grog.
[Aus]K. Tennant Lost Haven 66: He had been pleased to see her, ‘the cows bellering their heads off, as if they’d been on the grog and got a headache themselves.’.
[Aus]D. Hewett Bobbin Up (1961) 62: Fat lot of chaperoning Mumma could do after a night on the grog.
[Aus]A. Seymour One Day of the Year I i: It’s because I’m a bloody Australian that I’m getting on the grog.
[Aus]A. Buzo Norm and Ahmed (1973) 25: Just a place to go when you wanted to get on the grog.
[Aus]R. Beckett Dinkum Aussie Dict. 3: In the past the victim’s husband would have usually just beaten her up and stolen her housekeeping money to get on the grog and go to the races.
[Aus]G. Seal Lingo 48: Then there is grogging on, grog artist, on the grog and a grog up.