midriff » midrift

Classification: English – final d/t-deletion

Analyzed or reported by:

  • Hilary Robinson (link)
  • Paul Brians (link)
  • Peter Forster, calamityjane01 (link)

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.

| link | entered by Arnold Zwicky, 2007/08/13 |

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