A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 31, 2017
“Why is there a “D” in fridge, but not refrigerator?”

"Why is there a ‘d’ in ‘fridge’ when it’s short for refrigerator?"is a question that was asked on the newsgroup uk.rec.waterways on June 30, 2004. The question became very popular in following years.

A popular answer is that when “refrigerator” is clipped, it sounds like “fridge.” The spelling “frige,” however, is likely to be mispronounced when read from the page.

“Why is there a D in fridge, but not a D in refrigerator?” was posted on Reddit—Shower Thoughts on August 31, 2017.

Google Groups: uk.rec.waterways
12v/240v fridge without the gas option
.... and why is there a ‘d’ in ‘fridge’ when it’s short for refrigerator?

Julie Hirt‏
Why does “Fridge” have a D in it but “Refrigerator” doesn’t?
11:41 AM - 18 Jun 2007

Chris Stangland‏
Why is there a d in fridge, but not refrigerator?
3:42 PM - 5 Mar 2008

Reddit—explain like I’m five
ELI5: Why does fridge have a “D” in it, but refrigerator doesn’t?
submitted October 21, 2014 by AdventurousMan
What happened was that one of the words refrigerator or frigidaire was reduced to fridge. That is called a clipping.
That clipping (as every language change really) happened in the spoken language, not the written.

Reddit—explain like I’m five
ELI5: Why is there a “d” in fridge but not in refrigerator?
submitted November 3, 2015 by arichiii
Refrigerator is a word based on Latin roots. It means something like cold-maker, I guess? Same root as frigid. That’s how it’s spelled. Anyway, in Latin the frige part of that word would sound something like “free-gay” (long I, hard G), but hundreds of years ago English speakers started pronouncing most words which were originally spelled with the letter I with a short I (like tin, instead of teen), and pronouncing G’s as soft before E and I.

Reddit—No Stupid Questions
Why is there a “d” in fridge but not refrigerator?
submitted September 18, 2016 by Bausse
Because consistent spelling is less important than consistent pronunciation, and “frige” would be pronounced /’fɹaɪ:.d͡ʒ/ “FRY-dge”, like “French fry”, rather than /frɪ.d͡ʒ/ “FRIH-dge”.

Peter Flom
Answered Nov 25 2016
Originally Answered: Why does the shortform of the word refrigerator (fridge) have a letter D yet the full word doesn’t?
Why does FRIDGE have a D?
It’s an attempt to make the spelling connote the correct pronunciation:

FRIG would rhyme with RIG and is, also, used as a curse.

FRIGE would have a long I sound.

FRIDGE looks like RIDGE with an F added, and it rhymes with RIDGE.

2. Why doesn’t refrigerate have a D?

It comes from Latin refrigeratus and, in Latin, I can be short or long (no need for a silente E) and G is soft when it comes before an E.

Reddit—Shower Thoughts
Why is there a D in fridge, but not a D in refrigerator?
submitted August 31, 2017 by hermanhorse

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Thursday, August 31, 2017 • Permalink