Refrigerator or Refridgerator

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Refrigerator or Refridgerator

Post by Archived Topic » Thu Apr 08, 2004 4:20 am

We are having a discussion at work about the word refrigerator. Did it used to be spelled "refridgerator"?
If not then why is the shortened version "fridge"?
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Refrigerator or Refridgerator

Post by Archived Reply » Thu Apr 08, 2004 4:34 am

I did a quick search using the resource section of this site and found the following from m-w dictionary:
REFRIGERATE
function: transitive verb
inflected forms:-ated' -ating
Etymology: Latin REFRIGERATUS, past participle of REFRIGERARE, from RE + FRIGERARE to cool, from FRIGOR-, FRIGUS cold-more ate FRIGID
date: 1534
: to make or keep cold or cool; specifically: to freeze or chill (as food) for preservation

FRIDGE or FRIG are both considered acceptable ways of spelling the shortened version of refrigerator.
FRIDGE
variant: also FRIG
function: noun
Etymology: by shortening and alteration
Date: 1926

Also for FRIG
FRIG
Function: intransitive verb
Inflected forms: FRIGGED; FRIGGING
Etymology: Middle English FRYGGEN to wriggle
Date: 1598
usually vulgar: COPULATE- sometimes used in the present participle as a meaningless intensive

To make it short, if you write FRIG, the usual laws of phonetics could cause the reader to misunderstand the word as an expletive. Now I know the laws of syntax and context would make this error more difficult, but why should we confuse matters when would could just spell the shortened word for refrigerator as FRIDGE and call it a day?
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Refrigerator or Refridgerator

Post by Archived Reply » Thu Apr 08, 2004 4:49 am

I can give a possible insight to this terminology. My grandparents owned a Frigidaire refrigerator. They always refered to any refrigerator as a "frigidaire" wether or not it was of that brand. Hearing their many conversations while with them, I noticed the term; As a young boy in the 1950's, I was taught "refrigerator". I noticed the old-fashoned term every time they said it, and also that everyone of their peers understood it readily. But I would giggle to myself everytime I heard it. The third sylable was always a hard D. Pronounced not frigid-air but rather a definite frigi-Daire. A slight contraction of this usage, for them, would be almost impossible to concieve of without the inclusion of that D. I suspect that may be how the d in fridge got there. Good luck with this one. It seems as slippery as ice....Dana (inspector2slo)
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Refrigerator or Refridgerator

Post by Archived Reply » Thu Apr 08, 2004 5:03 am

There was actually a court case in which the fridgedair company sued a competitor for useing the name fridgedaie to describe its product. the courts ruled that the term had become comman place enough that other companies could use it without breaking laws.
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