ginger vs gingery what difference

what is difference between ginger and gingery



  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈdʒɪndʒə/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈdʒɪndʒɚ/
  • Rhymes: -ɪndʒə(ɹ)
  • In the UK, the pronunciation /ˈɡɪŋə/ may be jokingly used in disparaging reference to (a person with) the hair colour.

Etymology 1

From Middle English gingere, alteration of gingivere, from Old English gingifer, gingiber (influenced by Old French gingembre), from Medieval Latin gingiber, zingiber, from Latin zingiberi, from Late Ancient Greek ζιγγίβερις (zingíberis), from Sauraseni Prakrit ???????????????????????????????? (siṃgivera), from Sanskrit शृङ्गवेर (śṛṅgavera) (influenced by शृङ्ग (śṛṅga, horn)), ultimately from Proto-Dravidian *cinki-wēr.


ginger (countable and uncountable, plural gingers)

  1. The pungent aromatic rhizome of a tropical Asian herb, Zingiber officinale, used as a spice and as a stimulant and acarminative.
  2. The plant that produces this rhizome.
  3. Other species belonging to the same family, Zingiberaceae, especially those of the genus Zingiber
  4. A reddish-brown color.
  5. (colloquial, often derogatory, countable) A person with reddish-brown hair; a redhead.
  6. (colloquial, uncountable) Vitality, vigour, liveliness (of character).
  7. (colloquial, countable and uncountable) Ginger ale, or can or bottle of such (especially if dry).
  8. (colloquial, Scotland, especially Glasgow, countable and uncountable) Any soft fizzy drink, or can or bottle of such; pop; soda.
Derived terms


ginger (comparative more ginger, superlative most ginger)

  1. (of hair) Of a reddish-brown colour.
Derived terms
  • ginger-haired


ginger (third-person singular simple present gingers, present participle gingering, simple past and past participle gingered)

  1. To add ginger to.
  2. To enliven, to spice (up).
  3. To apply ginger to the anus of a horse to encourage it to carry its tail high and move in a lively fashion.
  4. (Nigeria, transitive) To inspire (someone); to give a little boost to.


Derived terms
  • ginger up

Related terms

  • galangal

See also

Etymology 2

Attested early 16th century, of uncertain origin; perhaps from Old French gensor, comparative of gent (nice, kind, pretty), from Latin genitus ([well-]begotten).


ginger (comparative more ginger, superlative most ginger)

  1. Sensitive, delicate.

Derived terms

  • gingerly


ginger (third-person singular simple present gingers, present participle gingering, simple past and past participle gingered)

  1. To move gingerly, very careful and cautious.

Etymology 3

Cockney rhyming slang: ginger beer, queer.


ginger (plural gingers)

  1. (Britain, Cockney rhyming slang) A homosexual.


ginger (not comparable)

  1. (Britain, Cockney rhyming slang) Homosexual.


  • Gering, erging, nigger



ginger +‎ -y


gingery (comparative more gingery, superlative most gingery)

  1. Somewhat reddish or reddish-brown in colour (especially of hair or skin colouring).
    gingery hair / freckles; the gingery fur of a fox
    • 1853, Charles Dickens, Bleak House, Chapter 19,[1]
      The very learned gentleman [] has cooled the natural heat of his gingery complexion in pools and fountains of law []
    • 1898, Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Club-Footed Grocer” in Round the Fire Stories, London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1908, p. 212,[2]
      He was a small, thick man, with a great rounded, bald head and one thin border of gingery curls.
    • 1972, Norma Klein, Mom, the Wolf Man and Me, New York: Avon, Chapter 7, p. 75,[3]
      He had bright red hair, not just gingery like Andrew’s []
  2. (of a person) Having reddish-brown hair.
    • 1899, Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Chapter 2,[4]
      The red-haired pilgrim was beside himself with the thought that at least this poor Kurtz had been properly revenged. [] He positively danced, the bloodthirsty little gingery beggar.
  3. Having a flavour or aroma of the spice ginger; containing that spice.
    a gingery broth / stir-fry
    • 2005, Truman Capote, Summer Crossing, New York: Random House, Chapter 6,
      Nostalgic, gingery hints of Spanish geranium wafted in her mother’s room []
  4. (dated) Energetic, vigorous, lively, peppy, zippy.
    • 1909, Fred Tenney, “Giants Take Last Game from Dallas,” New York Times, 29 March, 1909,[5]
      The boys have made themselves very popular with the fans here, because a good, gingery gaffe is played all the time, regardless of the score.
    • 1911, Kentucky Irish American, Louisville, Kentucky, 19 August, 1911,[6]
      The recent showing of the locals has been a big disappointment to the fans, the team playing loosely, and the gingery coaching and hustling of Hulswitt has been the only redeeming feature.
    • 1912, P. R. Bennett, “Patience on a Throne” in Ducdame: A Book of Verses, London: Elliot Stock, p. 44,[7]
      The man who reads his history of any clime or age
      Finds characters of potentates disfiguring each page,

      So touchy and so gingery
      That every little injury
      Will send them flying off into a rage.
    • 1994, John Malcolm, Hung Over, New York: St. Martin’s Press, Chapter 18, p. 130,[8]
      The door to the street opened and Nobby himself came striding in, all gingery action and alertness, like an Airedale after a dustman.
  5. (US, dated) Ginger, inhibited, cautious.
    • 1857, Thomas Mayne Reid, The War-Trail, New York: De Witt, Chapter 93, p. 455,[9]
      I walked slowly, and with an assumed air of careless indifference. I counterfeited the Comanche walk—not that bold free port—the magnificent and inimitable stride, so characteristic of Chippewa and Shawano, of Huron and Iroquois—but the shuffling gingery step of an English jockey; for such in reality is the gait of the Comanche Indian when afoot.
    • 1919, H. L. Mencken, “George Ade” in Prejudices: First Series, NY: Knopf, p. 115,[10]
      They are unanimously shy of Ade in their horn-books for sophomores, and they are gingery in their praise of him in their innumerable review articles.


  • greying, niggery

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