midriff » midrift
Suggested to me by Rachel Cristy, 13 August 2007. Earlier reports above.
Brians: “Midriff” derives from “mid-” and a very old word for the belly. Fashions which bare the belly expose the midriff. People think of the gap being created by scanty tops and bottoms as a rift, and mistakenly call it a “midrift” instead. In earlier centuries, before belly-baring was in, the midriff was also the piece of cloth which covered the area.
AMZ: It’s possible that this interpretation is encouraged by viewing the “midriff” pronunciation as the product of final t-deletion.