Friday, October 14, 2011


Belly \BEL-ee\ , noun;
1. The front or under part of a vertebrate body from the breastbone to the pelvis, containing the abdominal viscera; the abdomen
2. Appetite or capacity for food; gluttony
3. The womb
4. The interior or inside of anything
Love it!
In looking up midriff yesterday, I noticed (with help from my German-speaking husband) that both Old English hrif and Old High German href ("womb, belly, abdomen") have been replaced by something that sounds more like belly (bauch in German).

Sooooo, belly comes from Old English belg ("leather bag, purse, bellows"), which derived from Proto-Germanic *balgiz ("bag") from Proto-Indo-European *bhel- ("to blow, swell"). The meaning of "body" didn't arise until the late 13th century, and by the mid-14th century it had shifted to mean "abdomen" specifically.

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