|Abstract:||Since McCarthy and Prince (1986), most linguists have claimed that the minimal content word of a language is equivalent to the minimal foot allowed by the language. In this paper I survey minimal word restrictions in over fifty languages to show that the minimal word syndrome is not connected to foot structure. Instead, in some cases the minimal word of a language is connected to stress properties of the right and/or left edge of the word. For many languages the independently necessary right edge constraint prohibiting final stress, NON-FINALITY (Hyman 1977, Prince and Smolensky 1993, Hung 1994, Walker 1996), predicts minimal word constraints. To handle left edge effects, I introduce a constraint disfavoring stressed syllables which are not preceded by unstressed syllables (which therefore disfavors initial stressed syllables), UPBEAT. In a great many other cases, I show that there is not even a connection between stress and minimality. I account for the minimal word restrictions in these languages with the phonetically motivated constraint BE-LONG, which penalizes short words.