Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Ginger

 Ginger root is a pungent, aromatic spice, medicinal use of which pre-dates written history. One of the first original spices to arrive in Europe, the ginger root was obtained by the Ancient Greeks and Romans via Arab traders. The Greeks called it “zingiberis” while in Latin it was called “zingiberi.” The Olde English word for the spice was “gingifer” (attested to in the early 11th century).  Ultimately the word comes from the Sanskrit śrngaveram, from the elements “srngam” meaning “horn” and “vera” meaning “body” (in reference to the ginger root shape). Although this is largely considered folk etymology. The true origin is likely Dravidian (from ancient people of Southern India), from “inchi-ver” with “inchi” meaning simply “root.”  Ginger spice has a long history of medicinal use, most notably in the cure of ailments like heartburn and nausea.  Ginger is also a word with figurative meaning – synonymous with “spunk” and “spirit” – from mid-19th century America slang.  The most famous name bearer was Ginger Rogers – Ginger being short for her birth name Virginia. 

All About the Baby Name – Ginger

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME GINGER

Romance is the hallmark of the Six personality. They exude nurturing, loving, and caring energy. Sixes are in love with the idea of love in its idealized form - and with their magnetic personalities, they easily draw people toward them. Like the number Two personality, they seek balance and harmony in their life and the world at large. They are conscientious and service-oriented, and a champion for the underdog. These personalities naturally attract money and are usually surrounded by lovely material objects - but their human relationships are always primary. They thrive in giving back to others rather than being motivated by their own desires. This is when they achieve great things. Sixes are natural teachers, ministers and counselors.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME GINGER

The name Ginger suddenly appeared on America’s Top 1000 list in 1933. No coincidence, this is exactly the same year that actress Ginger Rogers began her long and prosperous dancing partnership with Fred Astaire starting with Flying Down to Rio (1933).  One of the most influential actresses to emerge from the mid-century Hollywood scene, it’s no wonder Ginger Rogers single-handedly impacted the usage of her name across America.  And it stuck around for a pretty good run, more than 50 consecutive years on America’s Top 1000 list (1933-1989).  The apex of Ginger’s usage as a baby girl’s name came in 1971 when it was ranked #187 in the country. The name’s later success was likely influenced by the fictional character Ginger Grant from Gilligan's Island (1964-1967), a popular sitcom still in syndication. Today, however, Ginger has fallen from style (less than 100 baby girls born each year are given this moniker). There’s something sort of sweet and spunky about spice names (Sage, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger) – just be forewarned – they are also often given to pets.  Ginger is an especially popular name for cats as evidenced by the children’s books we list below.

Quick Facts

ON GINGER

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

N/A

PRONUNCIATION:

JIN-jər

SIMPLE MEANING:

Root (horn body)

Characteristics

OF GINGER

Humanitarian

Community-minded

Family-oriented

Loving

Affectionate

Compassionate

Sensitive

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Ginger

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME GINGER

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Ginger

Popular Songs

ON GINGER

We cannot find any popular or well-known songs with the name of Ginger


Famous People

NAMED GINGER

Ginger Rogers (actress/dancer)
Peter Edward "Ginger" Baker (English drummer)
Ginger Helgeson-Nielsen (tennis player)
Ginger Alden (former girlfriend of Elvis Presley)

Children of Famous People

NAMED GINGER

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Ginger

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME GINGER

Ginger Rogers was a highly popular 20th century actress, singer and dancer who won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1940 for “Kitty Foyle”, but who is best remembered as Fred Astaire’s dancing partner. Born Virginia Katherine McMath in Independence, Missouri, Ginger was an only child of divorce, who took her stepfather’s name, Rogers. She entered show business via her mother’s work as a Hollywood script writer, and became a star at 19 when she appeared in the Gershwin Broadway show, “Girl Crazy”. Much of her successful film career was carried out at RKO, including the famous Astaire collaboration, although she acted as an independent agent in later years. Ginger Rogers was very close to her mother, both professionally and personally, and embraced both her mother’s religion, Christian Science, and her conservative political views. Married five times, she had no children. In addition to her legacy on screen, stage, radio and television, Ginger Rogers also inspired the feminist-adopted slogan that declared “she did everything Astaire did, but also while dancing backwards and in high heels”.