What does the "nog" stand for in Egg Nog?

I have read that the "nog" of eggnog comes from the word "noggin"...a noggin being a small wooden carved mug. Wondering what you have read, heard or know?

  • Posted by: lapadia
  • November 9, 2011


Smaug November 17, 2018
Barnhart's dictionary of etymology is a bit equivocal on the subject; it gives eggnog as an American word circa 1775 derived from egg+nog, nog being a type of ale- perhaps the answer to the old question, "waddya want, egg in your beer?" (that's not in the dictionary). It calls connection of "nog" with the word noggin (originally[1630] a small cup, later a small drink of liquor) a possibility.
Madelyn November 17, 2018
Hi I do not know what EggNog is and I play roblox but im new to this Siteand i was wondering does nog mean Sweet?
Niknud November 10, 2011
Shhhhhhhh...my mom visits this site.....tell you the story later......(she whispers behind her hand)
lapadia November 10, 2011
Sounds great, Niknud :) looking forward to it!
Niknud November 10, 2011
Completely not on the subject, but I've always wondered where spachcocked (not spelling it right, I'm sure) comes from. As for nog, I always assumed it was shortened from 'noggin' meaning your head meaning 'I can only feel half of it after I've had several glasses'.....but that's probably just me! I love nog! Irma Rombauer's version with about a dozen raw eggs and enough booze to level a muskox! Note: profile picture was aforementioned nog from last year's xmas extravaganza! And please don't ask me why it was on the floor - that's a story for another day!
lapadia November 10, 2011
LOL....and thanks for that Niknud! You should go online and write a "wiki" on you "noggin" meaning...seriously! As for spachcocked...hmmmm. Love the profile pic, will have to wait for that story, i guess :)
lapadia November 10, 2011
SO!!!!! Based on what we all learned (so far) here, do you think "nog" would be an ok word to use in the title of a cream based punch that uses liquor but no egg? I'm leaning on "yes"....just wonderin' :)
Droplet November 10, 2011
I'd say yes because it seems like the egg part was added to define a new kind of nog. And even if most people today would associate nog with eggnog ( this brings a whole another question on spelling), it seems to have been a drink with quite a bit of history and a fare share of interpretation. I am not very knowledgable in mixology, but what are contemporary cream based alcoholic drinks called?
lapadia November 10, 2011
Yay, 2 say"yes". Thanks, Droplet and hmmm, to your question!
lapadia November 10, 2011
Agree, Panfusine!
Panfusine November 9, 2011
very informative thread!
wssmom November 9, 2011
It is a little known fact, but "nog" actually stands for Not Others Grapes. Back in olden times, or before the invention of the serrated knife, it was not uncommon for British vintners to utilizr grapes from other people's vineyards elswewhere in the Roman Empire and use them in various libations. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the residents of what we know now as Great Britain were bereft of vineyards and had to rely on their own agricultural devices, including wheat and barley, to produce alcohol. The development of ales led to the war cry "Not Others Grapes" and thus to the creation of "N.O.G." which was used in egg nog.
lapadia November 10, 2011
Wow! That does tie in with some of the Great Britain & Ale notations I have read..I didn't know where to make a connection, though. Very interesting, wssmom, thanks!!!
boulangere November 9, 2011
What a great question!
lapadia November 10, 2011
Thanks...can't wait to see what else we come up with!
Droplet November 9, 2011
I don't know the answer, but a great question.
Droplet November 9, 2011
This is from some quick research, seems to confirm what ChefJune and Syronai are saying:
Rum was used in the place of wine. In Colonial America, rum was commonly called "grog", so the name eggnog is likely derived from the very descriptive term for this drink, "egg-and-grog", which corrupted to egg'n'grog and soon to eggnog. At least this is one version...
Other experts would have it that the "nog" of eggnog comes from the word "noggin". A noggin was a small, wooden, carved mug. It was used to serve drinks at table in taverns (while drinks beside the fire were served in tankards).
The true story might be a mixture of the two and eggnog was originally called "egg and grog in a noggin". This was a term that required shortening if ever there was one.
(from kitchenproject.com)
Droplet November 9, 2011
And the word "noggin" seems to come from the Norfolk slang "nog" to refer to the strong ales that were often served in these cups. So I guess it reverts back.
Either way, thanks for asking. Interesting trivia.

lapadia November 9, 2011
Hmmm, I see your have researched a bit more! Thanks for that, Droplet and I agree, this is interesting trivia :)
beyondcelery November 9, 2011
Wikipedia has an answer:

"The "nog" part of its name may stem from the word "noggin", a Middle English term used to describe a small, carved wooden mug used to serve alcohol.[2] However, the British drink was also called an Egg Flip (from the practice of "flipping" (rapidly pouring) the mixture between two pitchers to mix it)."
lapadia November 9, 2011
Hi Syronai! Yes, I saw part of that, and so was thinking that perhaps to be called a "nog" it doesn't really have to have egg...
ChefJune November 9, 2011
I don't know for sure, but when we were kids, my aunt used to say it had something to do with the alcohol in the stuff. In any case, I LOVE homemade eggnog, where you whip the egg whites and heavy cream separately and fold each in separately. ;)
lapadia November 9, 2011
Thanks and yum, ChefJune! Your eggnog recipe :)
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