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The strange case of eggnog (or eggnog?)

Last week, a prominent member of the crossword community emailed me: “Isn’t eggnog a word in your dictionary?”

He was referring to 8-Down in Thursday’s puzzle, where EGG was listed as [___ nog (Christmas drink that 22-Across tried for the first time on Fallon’s show; she winced and said “Maybe with rum it’s better”]. This is the one where Israeli actress Gal Gadot first tried some American dishes and gave fans her reactions to them on The Tonight Show.

And he’s right – Webster quotes it as a word, as does Cambridge.

But, I wrote to my e-mailer, “Fallon & co. Spelled EGG NOG on screen during the segment so who am I to disagree?”

And indeed, most of the major producers of the substance spell it in two words. Take this photo of many brands, where the score is 8-3 in favor of EGG NOG, two words, among the visible labels –

a fascinating case of dictionaries and disagreement in real life. Of course, we crossword writers will match with two word people because NOG is so useful for our puzzles.

Have you had a good EGG NOG lately? Take a photo of the container and tweet it on #beastxword so we can sort this out once and for all.

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