what's re about refrigerator?

Discussion in 'The Late Night Cafe (off-topic)' started by siduri, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. siduri

    siduri

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    Ok, you may think i have nothing to do, but i do have something very important and very annoying to do so i'm coming up with every possible excuse!

    i was pondering why we call a refrigerator a REfrigerator. 

    Yes, sometimes we take something that was cold and RE- frigerate it but often we take something that is not cold and put it in (bring home vegetables from the market for instance) and more often the things we put in are still cold (milk, meat, from the supermarket)

    So wny isn;t it called simply a "frigerator"? 

    Please help me understand - my mind is lost in this difficult problem of etymology and i can't get my work done/img/vbsmilies/smilies/crazy.gif
     
  2. ed buchanan

    ed buchanan

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    Years ago they were called ice boxes and were not electric.

    A refrigerator does really not put cold in, it takes heat out by transfer. The first electric ones were using sulphur to do it then came freon and now a new gas.  They depend on a compressor unit and a fan.

    The first a/c s commercial ones used water towers with air beig pushed through cold salt water coils by huge fans. These were called water cooled  units, and they are still around  allthe rest are air cooled types.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
  3. foodnfoto

    foodnfoto

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    Because it sounds a bit like Elmer Fudd when you say "frigerator"
     
  4. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    It's latin in origin, so your knowledge of italian is probably useful. 
     
  5. siduri

    siduri

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    So far only the elmer fudd explanation actually attempts to explain why they added the RE in front of frigerator. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif   But it only sounds like elmer fudd because we're used to the "re". If it were Frigerator, then Mr Fudd would call it "Rigerator"

    Why RE frigerating.  It makes no difference what system is used, ice or air or water or freon - the question is about the words. 

    In Italian it's Frigorifero - no "re" and of course the ancient romans didn;t have them. But are you saying, Phatch, that in latin there is a "re" before frigerare?  which only begs the question, why?
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
  6. foodpump

    foodpump

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    The Re is for re-cycling

    Freon gas is compressed, it is then allowed to expand in a coil (much like a radiator), where it absorbs heat. The gas is re-compressed again, giving off heat, and then allowed to expand in the coil.... and over and over and over again
     
  7. siduri

    siduri

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    really?  the first refrigerators were like that?  and the name came from that? 

    apparently "refrigeratory" was already used in the 1600s  before freon

    hmmmm

    back to the drawing board
     
  8. eiron

    eiron

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    So-o-o-o-o .... ??

    You can trace the etymology back to the 1600s, and then .... what? What's the history of the term at that point in time? (And what was a "refrigeratory" in the 1600s?) /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

    I do recall the term "frigidarium" (along with caldarium and tepidarium) from the Roman baths, but what happened between then & the 1600s to add the 're-' onto the front?

    (Yeah, I got stuff I don't want to do either! LOL)
     
  9. ishbel

    ishbel

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    And in the UK they are referred to as a fridge....   /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif     But refrigerators in the stores.
     
  10. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    The etymology I posted goes back to the 1500s. I think the maybe key to re is the "to make" part of the word? It's not that the fridge is just cold--the frigid part of the word--but that it makes other things cold. From a modern perspective at least, you put things that were stored cold in the store into your refrigerator to put them back to the temp at which you acquired them. Seems the origins of the word are to describe a similar function, though different technology.

    It's taking the adjective cold and turning it into a verb.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
  11. siduri

    siduri

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    the turning to verb should be the -ator part - i guess some stuff is already cold, or was, and you re-frigerate it, but alot wasn't cold, like vegetables or leftovers. 
    A refrigeratory was a cold place, if i remember - i imagine like a cellar.  the point i was making  was that it the "re" couldn;t be derived from freon recycling in the pipes which was what that was answering to

    anyway, what we'll do to keep from doing what we're supposed to do!
     
  12. foodpump

    foodpump

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    If the word is latin based, well then, we'll just use the words of the great philosopher "Obelix" (of the Obelix and Asterix fame) :

    "they're crazy, these Romans"........

    There, that explains "refrigerator" nicely.....
     
  13. siduri

    siduri

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    Well put Foodpump!  and living in Rome i can second that!

    SPQR is the acronym the romans put on everything (meaning senate and people of rome) and in asterix they rendered it Sono Pazzi Questi Romani (they;re crazy these romans)!  So the joke worked even better here.
     
  14. ed buchanan

    ed buchanan

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    First form was bury in the ground or keep in a cave. In fact if you bury a 6 pack in sand start a fire on top let it burn. Beer will be cool.