Make Your Editor Cry: Bridal vs. Bridle

Make Your Editor Cry:  Bridal vs. Bridle

Bridal refers to something to do with a bride or a wedding. It comes from the Old English word brydealo for wedding feast. It’s formed from bryd, for bride, and ealo, or ale, which was often drunk at wedding feasts. Use the adjective bridal to talk about a wedding or a bride. A bridal bouquet is the arrangement of flowers the bride carries during a wedding ceremony.

Examples:

There are bridal trends such as the classic white gown that will never go away.
She never married despite catching a bridal boutique on three occasions.

The word bridle also comes from an Old English word, meaning “to move quickly.” Used as a noun, bridle is part of a horse’s harness. As a verb, it can be used to mean restrain, as you would a horse in its bridle. When you’re riding a horse and scream “Whoa!” to make it stop, you’re pulling on the reins, which are attached to a thing called the bridle, the buckled straps around a horse’s head that help you control its movements. It can also mean something irritates you. If you bridle at something, you’re angry or offended.

Examples:

He held the horse by the bridle while his son brushed the animal.
I instantly bridle at news Facebook yet again sold off millions of personal records in search of a quick buck.

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