One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A wide strap which runs over the back and under the belly of a horse, used to keep a rug or other equipment in place.
- ‘Horses were placed in stocks wearing a bridle with a flash noseband and surcingle.’
- ‘This girth rope reminded me of a vaulter's surcingle and the riders buy their own ropes for competition.’
Middle English: from Old French surcengle, based on cengle ‘girth’, from Latin cingula, from cingere ‘gird’.
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