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Hot sand and ginger

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on November 27, 2009 at 11:48

In Reply to: Hot sand and ginger posted by Peter Munro on November 27, 2009 at 10:09:

: What is the meaning of 'hot sand and ginger', as in the line 'E's all 'ot sand an' ginger when alive,' in Kipling's poem, Fuzzy-Wuzzy?

As well as being a flavouring spice, ginger was traditionally used as a medicine as it was thought to put mettle and spirit into you: I regret to say, also, that it was an old horse-coper's trick to put ginger up the fundament of a worn-out or sluggish horse;, the irritation would make him lively and cause him to carry his tail high. Hence "ginger group", "ginger [someone] up", "take the ginger out of someone".

Hot sand also makes people lively, if they have to walk on it barefoot! So overall this description is of someone manically lively and fast-moving.