Where Did the Term Ginger Come From?

There is hardly any person on the earth who has never used the word ginger, never heard of it or is addressed like that. If you have also heard the word a lot since years and you are wondering where did the term ginger come from then you should keep reading because we were curious like you and have tried to find the right answer.

The Definition

When tracking the origins of a word, we should always begin with learning the definition of the word. So that’s what we’ll do here. According to the Urban Dictionary, Ginger refers to

A human who is characterized by freckles, pale skin, and bright red hair. Gingers are usually considered as inferior to the melanin-rich brethren and hence there is discrimination against them. It is believed that gingers have no souls. The condition Gingervitis is considered to be incurable and genetic.

The Speculation

According to speculations, Ginger nickname is related to ginger root which is often used in cooking to give it a kick. Some people believe that this is because redheads usually have a fiery temper and are able to pack a punch in most cases.

Another theory says that redheads are known as Gingers because ginger flavored foods usually have a reddish or auburn tinge. Don’t believe us? Close your eyes and think about gingerbread, ginger cake and ginger snaps and you’ll know what we mean.

The Influence of Television

One of the influencing factors is the presence of American TV. In a show like Gilligan’s Island, two single attractive females were the CenterPoint, and one of them was called Ginger. She had red hair and pale skin. The other female was known as Mary Ann, and she had brunette hair. When the series was on, people constantly debated on which one was more attractive, Mary Ann or Ginger which obviously translates to are redheads more attractive or brunettes.

The Plant Connection

Though the show, Gilligan’s Island seems to be a big reason why redheads are known as Gingers, it is also a fact that the Ginger nickname was more than 100 years old even than that. There are many 18th century references to prove this statement.

In the 18th and 19th century, Britain occupied Malaysia had been known to have a Red Ginger Plant. Many visitors were attracted to this plant and redheads were called Gingers for the first time around that time only.

Do you have any other theory regarding where did the term ginger come from? Do leave your comments below and let us know!

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