I've come across it in the 15th episode of the 8th season the Walking Dead. Here is the context:

Eugene: If Negan needs bullets to end this war,

then, by ginger, he's gonna get 'em.

All of 'em.

1 Answer 1


From an article I found online:

By George! By golly! By ginger! By gosh!: Basically a posh old version of OMG! The mild oath or exclamation dates from the early 1600s, when “George” and the other g-words were used as substitutes for God to avoid blasphemy.

So this is a way of saying, "If God wills it," without violating the commandment against "taking God's name in vain."

This phrase sounds distinctly old-fashioned, almost to an absurd degree, to modern ears.

  • 3
    It sounds closer to "by God!" to me, than to "If God wills it". There's nothing about the latter phrase that needs softening. Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 13:56
  • It seems more likely that "By ginger! came from "By Jesus!", like the Irish "Bejasus!" "By George!" may be a shortened form of "By (God and St.) George!" If the G is hard - as in "God" - then "golly" and "gosh" seem appropriate. If soft - as in "Jesus" - then Jupiter, ginger, Jimminy etc. Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 5:54

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