The word 'refrigerator' has no 'd' but 'fridge' does -

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Lilalena, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. Lilalena Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    266
    Is the addition of a consonant in the middle of 'fridge' a special case or is this kind of thing common in the English language?
     
  2. mathman Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,158
    My guess: the d is needed to make sure the sound of the g is soft, not hard.
     
  3. Fraggle Rocker Moderator

    Messages:
    22,692
    If you write "frige" people will pronounce the I long, as in "oblige."

    We always put a D before a soft G when it follows a short vowel: badge, hedge, ridge, lodge, nudge. To the extent that English has any spelling rules, one of them is that a single consonant between two vowels makes the first vowel long.

    Even if the second one is a silent E: can/cane, pet/Pete, win/wine, pop/pope, cut/cute.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
  4. Lilalena Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    266
    I meant that fridge is just an abbreviation and usually with these only the end letters get changed, nothing gets added or subtracted from the middle of the word. Are there any other instances of abbreviations getting getting modified in the middle?
     
  5. keith1 Guest

    Frigid--Latin frigidus, from frig─ôre to be cold; akin to Latin frigus frost, cold
    Refrigerator--Latin refrigeratus, past participle of refrigerare, from re- + frigerare to cool, from frigor-, frigus cold
    Courtesy: Websters Dictionary

    All of a sudden, it's frigin freezing in here!
     
  6. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,946
    I think that refrigerator is an actual English word, while Fridgidare is a trade name used by some company that manuufactured refrigerators.

    Perhaps fridge has become an English word used instead of the full trade name.
     
  7. Fraggle Rocker Moderator

    Messages:
    22,692
    It's not an abbreviation, it's a slang word.

    We have lots of abbreviations with mutilated middles, for example: Dr. Mr. Mrs. Atty. Many names have abbreviations like that: Chas. Jas. Robt. Thos. Wm.
    William C. Durant founded the Frigidaire Company in 1918, building the world's first mass-produced refrigerators. He also founded several automobile manufacturers, including General Motors and Chevrolet. Those two companies eventually merged. The resulting gigantic General Motors company also acquired Frigidaire, which was a GM brand until 1979 when it was sold to Electrolux, its current parent company.
    For many years Frigidaire was virtually the only brand of refrigerator most Americans had ever seen, so many of them simply called the appliance a Frigidaire instead of a refrigerator, just as we usually call disposable tissues "Kleenex," vacuum bottles "Thermos" bottles and, before the influx of Japanese products, every camera was a "Kodak."

    It's quite possible that the slang word "fridge" was a truncation of "Frigidaire" rather than "refrigerator." But I'd guess the most obvious explanation is that it stood for both so they reinforced each other.

    When I was in Eastern Europe 40 years ago, during the communist era when modern appliances were still not ubiquitous, many people used the name "Frigidaire" to mean "refrigerator," rather than the word that was invented for the appliance in each national language.
     
  8. mathman Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,158
    There are many words in English with the "dge" construction for the soft g sound. ledge, nudge, fudge, ridge, porridge, etc.
     
  9. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,946
    See Post #6: Fridge is slang/abbreviation for Frigidaire, which was the trade name of the most widely used refrigerator circa 1940-1960.
     
  10. mathman Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,158
    What you say is correct, but off the mark. The original question was why is there a "d" in fridge, not where the word came from.
     

Share This Page