In alphabetical order:

baby ginger See green ginger.

Chinese ginger See fingerroot.

Chinese key See fingerroot.

fingerroot = Chinese ginger = Chinese key = ka chai = kra chai = krachai Latin name: Kaempferia galanga
Notes: This ginger relative is popular in Thailand. It resembles long fingers jutting from a hand.
Substitutes: lesser galangal OR galangal (MUCH sharper flavor) OR ginger.

fresh ginger See ginger root.

gari pickled ginger
see How To Make Your Own Gari (Pickled Ginger For Sushi) galanga (ginger) See galangal (just below).

galangal = galanga (ginger) = greater galangal = (greater) galingale = (greater) galangale = Java root = Java galangal = kha = khaa = languas = lengkuas = laos (root or ginger) = Thai ginger = Siamese ginger Latin name: Alpinia galanga
Notes: Look for this in Asian markets. It's sold fresh, frozen, dried, or powdered. Use the dried or powdered versions only in a pinch.
Substitutes: ginger (not as pungent as galangal)

galangale See galangal (just above).

galingale See galangal.

geung See ginger root.

ginger (root) = gingerroot = fresh ginger = geung = khing = shoga
Equivalents: 1/4 cup, sliced = 1 ounce
Notes: If a recipe for a baked good calls for ginger, it's probably referring to ground ginger. Don't substitute ground ginger for fresh ginger; it's not nearly as pungent. Dried whole ginger is a better substitute for fresh, as is the minced or puréed ginger that's sold in jars.
Equivalents: 1 tablespoon fresh = ¼ teaspoon ground
Substitutes: green ginger (not as flavorful) OR galangal (More pungent than ginger, but works well in many spicy Asian dishes.) OR crystallized ginger (Substitute 1/4 cup minced crystallized ginger for every tablespoon of minced fresh ginger called for in recipe. Rinse off the sugar before using.)

gingerroot See ginger root.

green ginger = spring ginger = new ginger = young ginger = stem ginger = pink ginger = baby ginger
Notes: These pink-tipped young pieces of ginger are milder and usually don't need to be peeled. They're easy to find in Asian markets.
Substitutes: ginger (more pungent).

greater galangal See galangal.

greater galangale See galangal.

Indian ginger Isn't. It's turmeric. Although it is a rhizome.

Java root See galangal.

Java galangal See galangal.

ka chai See fingerroot.

kencur root See lesser galangal.

kentjur root See lesser galangal.

kha See galangal.

khaa See galangal.

khing See ginger root.

kra chai = krachai See fingerroot.

languas See galangal.

laos (root or ginger) See galangal.

lengkuas See galangal.

lesser galangal = lesser galangale = kencur root = kentjur root = zedoary
Notes: This Indonesian rhizome looks a bit like ginger, only it's smaller and darker. It's hard to find, but look in Asian markets and you might get lucky. It's sold fresh, frozen, pickled, dried, or powdered. Used the dried or powdered versions only in a pinch. One teaspoon powdered = two teaspoons fresh minced.
Substitutes: fingerroot OR galangal (sharper flavor) OR ginger

lesser galangale See lesser galangal.

mango ginger Isn't. Again, it's turmeric.

new ginger See green ginger.

pink ginger See green ginger.

shoga See ginger root.

Siamese ginger See galangal.

spring ginger See green ginger.

stem ginger See green ginger.

turmeric = fresh turmeric = Indian ginger = yellow ginger = mango ginger
Pronunciation: TUR-muhr-ik
Shopping hints: Look for fresh roots in Southeast Asian markets. Ground turmeric is the powdered version.
Equivalents: 1 piece fresh turmeric = 1 teaspoon powdered turmeric.
Substitutes: ground turmeric OR saffron (which is much more expensive, and more flavourful) OR Steep annatto seeds in boiling water for 20 minutes, then discard the seeds.

Thai ginger See galangal.

yellow ginger See turmeric.

young ginger See green ginger.

Okay, so it's not the food, but close: I have several female aquaintances who (surprising) all have that name, and all spell it in uniquely unique ways:





It's one of those names that's so fun to mis-spell that you don't realise that people can no longer prounce it with any degree of accuracy. The person on the list (Jyngr; her legal name) has a heluvalot of fun at the DMV. I'm not even going to tell you her last name for fear you may laugh one of your kidneys out your ass.

Oh my, lots and lots. Ginger has possibly the most ramified etymology known. I can't do this properly without tree diagrams, and I think they need to be three-dimensional too, so accept this list as a poor substitute.

Modern and Middle English: ginger
-- which gave
Middle Irish: sinnsar
Modern Irish: gingsear
Scots Gaelic: dinnsear
Welsh: sinsir
-- and came from
Old French: gimgebre
-- which also gave
Modern French: gingembre
Old High German: gingibero, gingiber, inguber
Middle High German: gingebere, ingeber, ingewer
Modern German: ingwer, dialectally ginfer, imber
Middle Low German: gingeber, ingever
Plattdeutsch: gemware, engeber
Middle Dutch: gengber
Modern Dutch: gember
Frisian: gingber-wirtel
-- and one of the High German ones gave
Russian: inbir'
Ukrainian: imber
Polish: imbier, imbir
Lithuanian: imberas
Latvian: ingvers
Estonian: ingver
Slovene: imber
-- while one of the Low German ones gave
Swedish: ingefära
Finnish: inkivääri
Danish: ingefær
Icelandic: ingifer

Back to the Old French. That came from
Latin: zingiberi, zingiber
-- which was also borrowed as
Italian: zenzero
(-- giving Czech: zázvor)
Spanish: jengibre
Portuguese: gengivre
Occitan: gengibre
Catalan: gingibre
Hungarian: gyömbér
(-- giving Slovak: d'umbier
Serbo-Croat: djumbir
Romanian: ghimber)
Old English: gingifer, gingifere -- note that the OE was discarded and the word reborrowed into ME (above) from MF

The Latin was from
Greek: zingíberis
-- which gives
Modern Greek: zengíveris

The Greek was from
Pali: singivera-

Let's bookmark the Pali for now, because we'll need to come back to it to trace further back. For now we confine ourselves to other descendants of the Pali. It gave
Sinhalese: inguru
Uyghur: singir
Malagasy: sakaviru
Armenian: sngrvel
Pahlavi: sngypyl
Sogdian: snkrpyl
From one such Middle Iranian language came
Aramaic: zanghebhil
-- whence
Syriac: zenîghber
Hebrew: zanghebhîl (the modern surname Zangwill)
Arabic: zanjabîl
-- and this like so many Arabic words spread far and wide as
Turkish: zencefil
Albanian: zenxhefill
Bulgarian: zhindzhifil
Modern Persian: zanjabil
Georgian: janjap'ili
Kabyle (a Berber language): skenjebbir
Swahili: tangawizi
Bondei (I presume this and the next three are African but I haven't heard of them): sangaizi
Taita: tangaisi
Kamba: tangaisi
Nika: tangaizi, tangawizi

Now back to the Pali, the Buddhist scriptural language descended from
Sanskrit: srngavera-
-- also giving
Prakrit: simgabera-
The first part of the Sanskrit has been influenced by srnga- 'horn', from the horny appearance of the rhizome. We must divide the word into two roots (ahem) at this point. The second half is a Dravidian element meaning 'root' (Tamil and Malayalam veer, Kannada beer, Tulu beeru, Telugu veeru), and need not concern us further. The first element is the part that actually meant 'ginger', evidenced as
Malayalam: inci, from *singi?
Tamil: inji
Sora: sing

At this point my source (A.S.C. Ross in Etymology, André Deutsch, 1958) says that the original Indian words came from South-East Asia, but it is no longer possible to track the exact route. The eastern Asian forms cited are, losing all the vital accents,
Burmese: khyan (pronounced jin)
Cambodian: khnyi
Chinese: kiang
Dimasa: ha-dzin
Garo: e'-tsin
Haka: ai-tin
Japanese: kiô (now -ga in compounds)
Khami: ko-sin
Khasi: s'in
Khyang: t'en, a-t'en
Lakher: ia-san
Lhota: -san
Lusei: sa-t'in
Manipuri: sin
Minbu: t'en
Moran: hai-ten
Palaung: shi-aung
Rawang: lun-zin
Rengma: ga-sen
Rong: hin
Shan: khin
Shendu: a-tsain
Thado: tin
Thai: khin
Tipura: hai-tsin
Vietnamese: gung

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