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Quiz: where does the word gorp come from?

Posted by Andrew Engelson at Oct 03, 2006 05:00 PM |

Today's burning question: what's the origin of the word gorp?

GORPGorp has been a hiker's friend since the days of hob-nailed boots and Trapper Nelson packs: a quick pick-me-up of fruits, nuts, and candy. We've all heard the story that gorp is an acronym for Good Old Raisins and Peanuts.

Not likely, according to the website World Wide Words, published by British word maven Michael Quinion.

The etymology of gorp is unknown, but according to this fascinating little article, a dictionary from 1904 lists the word gorp as meaning "to eat greedily." The connection seems obvious enough, but there's no etymological evidence connecting the two uses.

The article goes on to look at other folk etymologies, including a boy scout newsletter from the 1960s that claims gorp stands for Granola, Oatmeal, Raisins and Peanuts. The article also notes that in Britain, Australia, and New Zealand, gorp is known as scroggin. The term trail mix is an American term.

And, just in case you were wondering, according to the Wikipedia entry on trail mix:

"the world record for eating trail mix was set in 2004 when Mark Lidzbarski ate his own body weight, over 200 pounds, over the course of Labor Day weekend."

Yikes. I kinda doubt he was doing any hiking at the time.

Photo of good ol' raisins by Dave Schiefelbein.