ginger up


ginger up


  • to cheer up a group or any activity
  • to make something more interesting, exciting, or active
  • to either get excited
  • to make someone excited or lively

Enthusiastic behaviour is known as gingering up.

Example Sentences

  1. As soon as they heard about the picnic – the children in the class gingered up.
  2. I got him to ginger up about the vacation that I have been planning for months by showing him the itinerary. Otherwise, he is only interested in his work and work-related trips.
  3. Whenever she meets her sister’s kids – she gingers up. They remind her of her own children who have now moved abroad.
  4. Her dog gingers up every time she comes home from the office and does not stop wagging his tail until she plays with him for a while.
  5. The game players did not do well today at practice. So, the coach is taking them out to ginger them up.


It’s an American phrase that was first coined in 1785 by Francis Grose in A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue. Grose speaks about gingering up with regards to training a horse and making him lively. Again, it was seen used in 1843 by Thomas Haliburton, in the context of training horses and making them ginger up. In 1895 the phrase was used by an evening news bulletin in Nebraska that made the idiom famous in the common parlance of the Yankees.

Share your opinions3 Opinions

Carol, I believe Lee Whiting is correct. The ginger was placed up the horse’s rear end to make it more lively and run faster! I would think that it would take someone who is brave or foolish to do this!

‒ Dave Bannister August 7, 2021

I’m not sure but it may come from the old use to knobble a rivals racehorse by pushing a small piece of peeled ginger up its rectum! I am not kidding.

Maybe you pushed the ginger up your horse so that it runs faster? Yes that’s it.

‒ Lee Whiting October 21, 2020

I’m curious did gingering up horses actually involved using ginger in their feed?

‒ Carole Pritchard October 19, 2020

What's on your mind?

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