from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Gin rummy.
  • noun A strong colorless alcoholic beverage made by distilling or redistilling rye or other grain spirits and adding juniper berries and sometimes other flavorings such as anise, caraway seeds, or angelica root.
  • noun Any of several machines or devices, especially.
  • noun A machine for hoisting or moving heavy objects.
  • noun A pile driver.
  • noun A snare or trap for game.
  • noun A pump operated by a windmill.
  • noun A cotton gin.
  • transitive verb To remove the seeds from (cotton) with a cotton gin.
  • transitive verb To trap in a gin.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An aromatic spirit prepared from rye or other grain and flavored with juniper-berries.
  • To begin (which see).
  • [In Middle English the preterit of this verb (gan, gon, can, con, etc.) was much used with a following infinitive, with or without to, as having, besides its regular inceptive meaning ‘began to,’ a merely preterit force, being equivalent to the simple preterit of the second verb: as, he gan go, equivalent to he did go or he went. This auxiliary was supplanted in the fifteenth century by did, though its use, as an archaism, continued much later.
  • noun A contraction of given.
  • To catch in a trap.
  • To clear (cotton) of seeds by means of the cotton-gin.
  • Against (a certain time); by: as, I′ ll be there gin five o′ clock.
  • noun I. Contrivance; crafty means; artifice.
  • noun A mechanical contrivance; a machine; an engine.
  • noun An engine of torture.
  • noun A machine used instead of a crane, consisting essentially of three poles from 12 to 15 feet in length, often tapering from the lower extremity to the top, and united at their upper extremities, whence a block and tackle is suspended, the lower extremities being planted in the ground about 8 or 9 feet asunder, and having a windlass attached to two of them.
  • noun In coal-mining, the machinery for raising ore or coal from a mine by horse-power. [Eng.] Generally called whim or whim-gin in the United States.
  • noun A machine for separating the seeds from cotton, hence called a cotton-gin. See cut undercotton-gin.
  • noun A machine for driving piles.
  • noun A pump moved by rotary sails.
  • noun A trap; a snare; a springe.
  • If; suppose.
  • noun An Australian native woman; an old woman generally.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To catch in a trap.
  • transitive verb To clear of seeds by a machine.
  • preposition Scot. Against; near by; towards.
  • intransitive verb Obs. or Archaic To begin; -- often followed by an infinitive without to. See gan.
  • noun A strong alcoholic liquor, distilled from rye and barley, and flavored with juniper berries; -- also called Hollands and Holland gin, because originally, and still very extensively, manufactured in Holland. Common gin is usually flavored with turpentine.
  • noun Contrivance; artifice; a trap; a snare.
  • noun A machine for raising or moving heavy weights, consisting of a tripod formed of poles united at the top, with a windlass, pulleys, ropes, etc.
  • noun (Mining) A hoisting drum, usually vertical; a whim.
  • noun A machine for separating the seeds from cotton; a cotton gin.
  • noun a simple form of tackle block, having one wheel, over which a rope runs; -- called also whip gin, rubbish pulley, and monkey wheel.
  • noun a form of horse power for driving a cotton gin.
  • noun the path of the horse when putting a gin in motion.
  • noun a saw used in a cotton gin for drawing the fibers through the grid, leaving the seed in the hopper.
  • noun (Mining) the drum of a whim.
  • conjunction Scotch If.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb archaic To begin.
  • noun A colourless non-aged alcoholic liquor made by distilling fermented grains such as barley, corn, oats or rye with juniper berries; the base for many cocktails.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Alteration of geneva, from Dutch jenever, from Middle Dutch geniver, juniper, from Old French geneivre, from Vulgar Latin *iiniperus, from Latin iūniperus.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French, short for engin, skill; see engine.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English ginnen, from Old English ginnan ("to open", "to cut open")

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Abbreviation of geneva or alternatively from Dutch genever ("juniper") from the Old French genevre, from Latin iūniperus ("juniper"). Hence Gin rummy first attested 1941.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Aphetism of Old French engin ("engine").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Dharug dyin, but having acquired a derogatory tone.


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  • In addition to this analysis I have also one of Messrs. Peters 'gin, equally satisfactory, and as Van Hoytima and Peters are the two great suppliers of the gin that goes to West Africa, I think the above is an answer to the "poison" statements, and should be sufficient evidence against it for all people who are not themselves absolute teetotalers.

    Travels in West Africa Mary H. Kingsley 1881

  • I gin it to you, an 'ole granny Thomas 'gin in' when she seed it, an 'said you mus' be good.

    The Cromptons Mary Jane Holmes 1866

  • I'm thinkin 'gin ane o' the bairnies that he took upo ''s knee, -- an' he was ill-pleased wi 'them' at wad hae sheued them awa ', -- gin ane o' them had hauden up his wee timmer horsie, wi 'a broken leg, and had prayed him to work a miracle an' men 'the leg, he wadna hae wrocht a miracle maybe, I daursay, but he wad hae smilet, or maybe lauchen a wee, and he wad hae men't the leg some gait or ither to please the bairnie.

    Alec Forbes of Howglen George MacDonald 1864

  • But there may be sic a thing as loupin 'into the sea o' life oot o 'the ark o' salvation; an 'gin ye loup in whan he doesna call ye, or gin ye getna a grip o' his han ', whan he does, ye're sure to droon, as sure's ane o' the swine that ran heedlong in and perished i 'the water. "

    Alec Forbes of Howglen George MacDonald 1864

  • And the gin is all light and fragrant with hints of lemon and orange.

    Best UK Newcomer 2010: Sipsmith distillers Carole Cadwalladr 2010

  • Warren also says Berkshire, and I would have adopt this for the Post company, does not play what he calls gin rummy management in which you discard a business at every turn to try to do something with the stock price.

    unknown title 2011

  • Sloe gin is just the tipple for warming up cold days, but you have to think ahead and make it now so the rock-hard, purple-black fruits have time to flavour the gin.

    Nigel Slater's classic sloe gin recipe Nigel Slater 2010

  • I can even see a boost in gin sales as some of the crazies fail to grasp the meaning of the phrase.

    Matthew Yglesias » Economist of The People 2009

  • While there are plenty of writers who fall into the above category, there are plenty of writers who are not soaked in gin, puffing away on opium pipe, as their latest lover sleeps on.

    The mythic life of the writer « Write Anything 2010

  • THE TRICK For me, the hardest part of making sloe gin is keeping my patience while it mellows.

    Nigel Slater's classic sloe gin recipe Nigel Slater 2010


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  • This is how people in NC pronounce my name. It's also wonderful with tonic.

    May 22, 2007

  • Also something to do with ships - see citation on coaming.

    March 26, 2008

  • His final words were

    (directed to his best friend):

    'No doubt as a child

    you were starved, stunted with gin,

    and suffered to get rickets.'

    - Peter Reading, Limns, from Tom O' Bedlam's Beauties, 1981

    June 28, 2008

  • Song quotation on telly.

    September 21, 2008

  • And on crutch.

    December 26, 2008

  • "... the spiritous scourge of the age came not from home-grown liquors but from Dutch genever, or gin. Made of corn spirits and flavoured with the juniper that gave it its name, gin was also brewed in grimy back alleys, but even the imports were cheap and potent enough to ruin the poor.... Gin continued to be sold under the name of 'Parliamentary Brandy'; only when the price of grain rose in the 1750s, taking the price of gin with it, were the poor forced to turn elsewhere for comfort and oblivion."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 223

    January 18, 2017