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The choice of the verb "break" seems a strange choice for the phrase. Does anybody know where this phrase originated?

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2 Answers 2

I don't know for sure, but it's a very old phrase. From etymonline.com:

Break wind first attested 1550s.

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From M-W:

to separate into parts with suddenness or violence

That sounds very descriptive of what is going on, at least for the noisy variety

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