Thursday, April 14, 2011


Griddle \GRID-l\
Dating to the early 13th century, the origin of griddle is Anglo-French gridil, which comes from Old Northern French gredil, an alteration of Old French graille. Somehow graille derives from Latin craticula ("gridiron, small griddle"), the diminutive of cratis ("wickerwork") which is possibly derived from Proto-Indo-European *kert- ("to turn, entwine").

Gridiron comes up in this etymology, which is interesting to me because I have never heard that word used except in reference to a U.S. football field. Turns out it's a metal grate with parallel bars used for grilling food. It dates to the late 13th century as gridire (later griderne) from the same Anglo-French word as above, gridil. In medieval times the word was also used for an instrument of torture, and the football usage came about in the late 1800's because of the lines on the field.

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