before 1000;Middle English;Old English; compare Old High Germanbalz; both < Latinbalteus; see balteus
3. Belt and zone agree in their original meaning of a girdle or band. Belt is more used in popular or journalistic writing: the corn or wheat belt. Zone tends to be used in technical language: the Torrid Zone; a parcel-post zone.12. girdle, encircle. 14. gird (on). 15. flog, lash.
O.E. belt, from P.Gmc. *baltjaz (cf. O.H.G. balz, O.N. balti, Swed. bälte), an early borrowing from L. balteus "girdle, sword belt," said by Varro to be an Etruscan word. As a mark of rank or distinction, mid-14c.; references to boxing championship belts date from 1812. Transferred sense of "broad stripe encircling something" is from 1660s. Below the belt "unfair" (1889) is from pugilism. To get something under (one's) belt is to get it into one's stomach.
"to thrash as with a belt," 1640s, from belt (n.); general sense of "to hit, thrash" is attested from 1838.