If Anyone's Been Wondering About This Blog's Name...

Culled from the OED:

"girdle, n.1

[OE. gyrdel (f. gyrdan to GIRD: see -LE) = MDu. gurdel, gordel (Du. gordel), OHG. gurtil masc., gurtila fem. (MHG. and mod.G. gürtel), ON. gyrill (OSw. giordel, Sw. gördel); the OE. gyrdels (=OS. gurdisl), f. the same grade of the root with a different suffix (see -ELS), is found earlier than gyrdel, but did not survive into ME.]


3. transf. uses of 1. a. That which surrounds, as a girdle does the body; a zone. the girdle of the world; the ecliptic, the equator. Also of immaterial surroundings.

c1000 Sax. Leechd. III. 260 We hata on leden quinque zonas, æt synd fif gyrdlas. 1559 W. CUNINGHAM Cosmogr. Glasse 63 Five..zones..we may aptly call them equidistant places, or Girdles. 1599 SHAKES. Hen. V, Prol. 19 Suppose within the Girdle of these Walls Are now confined two mightie Monarchies. 1626 BACON Sylva §398 The Great Brizes, which the Motion of the Aire in great Circles, (such as are vnder the Girdle of the World) produceth. 1665 MANLEY Grotius' Low C. Warres 416 The Rhiphean Mountains encompass them..which..they call the Girdle of their Land. 1697 DRYDEN Virg. Georg. I. 322 Five Girdles bind the Skies, the torrid Zone Glows with the passing and repassing Sun. c1700 J. LAWSON in Harper's Mag. (1883) Feb. 419/1 A delicious country..placed in that girdle of the world which affords wine, oil, fruit. 1781 COWPER Expost. 20 The billows roll, From the world's girdle to the frozen pole. Charity 86 Trade is the golden girdle of the globe. 1836 MACGILLIVRAY tr. Humboldt's Trav. xvii. 219 The horizon was bounded by a girdle of forests. 1847-8 H. MILLER First Impr. viii. (1857) 133 The quick, smart patter of hammers sounds incessantly, in one encircling girdle of din. 1875 MERIVALE Gen. Hist. Rome (1877) i. 5 The Palatine hill..the first nucleus of the Roman Empire, lay in the centre of a girdle of eminences. 1879 FARRAR St. Paul (1883) 321 Among good and holy men love would still be the girdle of perfectness.

b. to put (make, cast) a girdle (round) about: to go round, make the circuit of (the earth). Obs.

1590 SHAKES. Mids. N. II. i. 175 Ile put a girdle about the earth, in forty minutes. 1612 DEKKER If it be not good Wks. 1873 III. 277 About the world My trauailes make a girdle. 1621 MIDDLETON Sun in Aries Wks. (Bullen) VII. 342 Sir Francis Drake..did cast a girdle about the world. c1626 Dick of Devon II. v. in Bullen O. Pl. II. 43 They would have thought Themselves as famous as their Country~man That putt a girdle round about the world.

c. That which confines or binds in; a restraint, limit.

a1616 BEAUM. & FL. Faithf. Friends IV. iv, To all Thy thoughts, thy wishes, and thine actions, No power shall put a girdle. 1641 J. JACKSON True Evang. T. I. 38 The sixt Persecution..[was] limited..to a short time, (for it was precinct with a triennial girdle). 1645 MILTON Tetrach. (1851) 221 But suppose it any way possible to limit sinne, to put a girdle about that Chaos. 1833 I. TAYLOR Fanat. vi. 193 The iron girdle of a solemn and irrevocable oath.


6. attrib. and Comb., as girdle-bell, -belt, -buckle, -compass, -maker; girdle-like, -shaped adjs.; also girdle-bed, -bone (see quots.); girdle-glass, a mirror carried at the girdle; girdle-hanger (see HANGER2 4b); girdle-pains = girdle-sensation; girdle-sensation, -wheel (see quots.).

1880 C. T. CLOUGH in Geol. Mag. 443 *Girdle Beds.Alternations of thin sandstones and sandy shales.
1810 SOUTHEY Kehama XIV. viii, The sweet music of their *girdle-bells.
1697 DRYDEN Æneid IX. 488 Nor did his [Euryalus] Eyes less longingly behold The *Girdle-Belt, with Nails of burnish'd Gold.
1871 HUXLEY Anat. Vertebr. Anim. 175 The Frog's skull is characterised by the development of a very singular cartilage bone, called by Cuvier the os en ceinture or *girdle-bone.
1790 Chron. in Ann. Reg. 207/1 A *girdle-buckle about the bigness of a crown-piece was also dug up.
1552 HULOET, *Girdle compasse, or in the compasse, or wyth the compasse of a gyrdle, zotim [? read zonatim].
a1652 BROME New Acad. IV. ii. (1658) 85 How his [the man's] pocket-combe..and her [the woman's] *Girdle-glasse, To order her black pashes, came together.
1921 Brit. Mus. Return 66 Anglo-Saxon iron *girdle-hanger from Cliffe, near Rochester. 1923 C. FOX Archaeol. Cambr. Region vi. 271 Girdle hangers. The simplest forms are a close copy in bronze of the housewife's keys of iron (a Roman type), the possession of which they doubtless symbolized.
1892 Pall Mall G. 23 June 1/3 It has a smart bodice, with..a *girdle-like arrangement of cord in front.
14.. Nom. in Wr.-Wülcker 686/20 Hic corrigiarius, *gyrdil-maker.
1897 HUGHES Mediterr. Fever iii. 122 Mental irritability and sleeplessness are combined with..*girdle-pains [etc.].
1885 Syd. Soc. Lex., *Girdle-sensation, the feeling of having a string or a broad band tied round the body or one of the limbs. 1897 Allbutt's Syst. Med. II. 977 It was followed by atrophy of the muscles, impairment of vision..girdle sensation [etc.].
Ibid. III. 521 The ulcer [of the stomach] is..occasionally, if of very long-standing, *girdle-shaped.
1688 R. HOLME Armoury III. 287/1 *The Girdle Wheel is a [Spinning] Wheel so little that a Gentle-woman may hang it at her Girdle..and Spin with it, though she be walking about."

The exact title comes from Tolkien, bien sur!


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