General English



  • noun a set of bones making a ring or arch


  • noun a set of bones that make a ring or arch

Origin & History of “girdle”

English has two words girdle. The more familiar, ‘belt’ (OE), goes back, together with its relatives garth, gird (OE), and girth (14th c.), to a prehistoric Germanic *gurd-, *gard-, *gerd- which denoted ‘surrounding’. from *gurd- came the verb *gurthjan, which produced both gird and girdle (as well as relatives in other Germanic languages, such as German gürtel, Dutch gordel, and Swedish gördel, all meaning ‘belt’), while *gerd- formed the basis of *gerdō, acquired by English via Old Norse gjorth as girth.

Girdle ‘metal baking plate’ (15th c.) (as in girdle cake) is a Scottish alteration of griddle (see (grid)).