What is the "nog" in eggnog? Well . . .


Frothy, creamy eggnog is a favorite beverage this time of year. Flavored with cinnamon or nutmeg, this winter drink is made with milk, sugar, and eggs. Usually an alcohol, like rum, is added.

The “egg” in eggnog is obvious, but you may not know that a different word almost beat out “egg” to mean the things that chickens lay. Find out what that word was, here.

Anyhow, what is the mysterious “nog?”

Well, the answer is debated. Eggnog probably dates back to the Elizabethan era. Over time, in England and America, there have been many incarnations of the drink, using alcohols like rum, brandy, whiskey, and bourbon. And it’s been flavored with everything from molasses to dried pumpkin.

Similar drinks have been called posset and egg flip.

One theory is that “nog” derives from the word “noggin,” which was a Middle English word for a type of mug that alcohol was served in.

Another theory claims that the name derived from a Colonial term for rum: egg-and-grog. This term was shortened to egg’n’grog, and then eventually eggnog.

What’s the moral here? Even the simplest pleasures can sometimes contain a mystery. Consider, if you will, the rich and surprising history of the X in “Xmas.”


US Fed News Service, Including US State News July 7, 2010 WASHINGTON, July 6 — The National Labor Relations Board issued the following press release:

The National Labor Relations Board today celebrates 75 years of enforcing the National Labor Relations Act, the primary law governing relations between employers and employees in the private sector, which was signed by President Franklin Roosevelt on July 5, 1935.

In the midst of the Great Depression, at a time marked by high unemployment and severe economic distress for many workers, President Roosevelt stated that the law sought to achieve “common justice and economic advance.” Since then, through the Second World War and the economic growth and challenges that followed, millions of employees have voted in NLRB-conducted workplace elections and millions more have bargained collectively with their employers under the NLRB’s protection. web site national labor relations act

“Both our country and our world have changed a great deal over the last eight decades, but the values reflected in the National Labor Relations Act – democracy in the workplace and fairness in the economy – are still vitally important,” said Chairman Wilma Liebman. In fiscal year 2009 alone, the Agency conducted 1.690 representation elections, received 22,941 charges of unfair labor practices, recovered more than $77 million in back pay and ensured that more than 1,500 wrongfully discharged employees were offered reinstatement to their jobs. this web site national labor relations act

The Agency is celebrating the anniversary with a commemorative website and events across the country, culminating in a two-day symposium in late October on the legacy of the law and prospects for its future, co-sponsored by the NLRB and the George Washington University School of Law. (To register, click here: https://ssl.law.gwu.edu/webforms/FAC_NLRA.html.) The National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency vested with the power to safeguard employees’ rights to organize and to determine whether to have unions as their bargaining representative. The agency also acts to prevent and remedy unfair labor practices committed by private sector employers and unions.


  1. bubba -  December 22, 2012 - 6:05 pm

    Hey try this combo,,, tequilla, orange juice and eggnogg!!! mix any way you want its the bomb!!!!!!!

  2. Jonezy -  May 5, 2012 - 10:21 pm

    Yay Ditz!!!!!!

  3. Ian -  December 26, 2011 - 9:55 am

    The X in XMas is for 2 reasons – 1) if you don’t celebrate Christmas, all religion is taken out of it thus it’s “Xed” out, and 2) the X is also a cross as that’s also what Jesus Christ was crucified on and so it’s a shorthand way of writing Christ (why they didn’t say T-Mas I’m not sure, maybe because XMas rolls off the tongue a little easier).

  4. Chris -  December 7, 2011 - 10:00 am

    I’m glad I checked here, but I’m still confused about something.
    My local WAWA convenience store is advertising that their eggnog is “Made with genuine Nog”

  5. angel-of-knowledge -  December 28, 2010 - 12:05 am

    @ Jfroml: Sad but true.

  6. JfromI -  December 27, 2010 - 8:47 am

    @ Hickock: Perhaps you should phrase that in the form of a suggestion instead of a complaint. There is no need to be adversarial or whiny. I swear it seems that our culture thrives on complaining.

  7. hickock -  December 26, 2010 - 6:37 pm

    when the WORD OF THE DAY is a verb, why is there no indication whether it is a transitive verb, intransitive verb, or both?

  8. Vivian Lindenau -  December 26, 2010 - 9:57 am

    It’s nice to know how eggnog became “eggnog”. It’s also just a shame that this delicious drink is only served during the Christmas/New Year’s holidays instead of all year round. Guess that’s what makes it so special. Good Stuff!!! HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ONE AND ALL!!

  9. Mr. D [A.K.A] Elysian -  December 26, 2010 - 9:55 am

    The female of the house doesn’t like this paticular drink…it just happens to be my favorite drink, no matter what time of year it is.

  10. mohamed tarek -  December 26, 2010 - 9:18 am

    hey i am a muslim like this i dont alchol like this i can do it without alchol i drink beral but not whisky,brandy,or @ny thing with alchol $$$$$$$$%%%%%%%%(muslim are the best)christian=zero but not all like cole sprouse debby ann rayan sterling knight selena gomes but selena and debby are not this much

  11. Jen -  December 26, 2010 - 8:25 am

    I just asked about this the other day! Thanks, Hot Word! I still think it’s gross, though.

  12. Cole -  December 26, 2010 - 6:50 am

    In our house, Christmas isn’t Christmas until the eggnog hits the table! I have heard of the egg’n'grog story, but not the noggin one. :)

  13. clive beesley -  December 25, 2010 - 11:47 pm

    very apt and festive info. BOTTOMS UP!!


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