frig (v.) Look up frig at
"to move about restlessly," mid-15c., perhaps a variant of frisk (q.v.). As a euphemism for "to fuck" it dates from 1550s (frigging); from 1670s as "to masturbate." Related: Frigged; frigging.
frigate (n.) Look up frigate at
1580s, from Middle French frégate (1520s), from Italian fregata (Neapolitan fregate), which with many names for types of sea vessels is of unknown origin. It is common to the Mediterranean languages (Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan fragata). Originally a small, swift vessel; the word was applied to progressively larger types over the years.
[A] light nimble vessel built for speed; employed in particular for the gleaning of intelligence and the protection and assault of trade-routes. In battle the frigates took station on the disengaged side of the fleet, where they repeated signals, sped on messages, and succoured the distressed. [Sir Geoffrey Callender, "Sea Passages," 1943]
In the old sailing navy usually they carried guns on a raised quarter-deck and forecastle, hence frigate-built (1650s) of a vessel having the quarter-deck and forecastle raised above the main-deck.
Frigg Look up Frigg at
in Germanic religion, queen of heaven and goddess of married love, wife of Odin; the name is in Old English, but only in compounds such as Frigedæg "Friday," Frigeæfen (what we would call "Thursday evening"). The modern English word is from Old Norse Frigg, a noun use of the feminine of an adjective meaning "beloved, loving," also "wife," from Proto-Germanic *frijjo "beloved, wife," from PIE *priy-a- "beloved," (see free (adj.)). Also compare Frau.
frigging (adj.) Look up frigging at
by 1936 as an expletive, from present participle of frig. Perhaps felt as euphemistic.
fright (n.) Look up fright at
Middle English freiht, fright, from Old English (Northumbrian) fryhto, metathesis of Old English fyrhtu "fear, dread, trembling, horrible sight," from Proto-Germanic *furkhtaz "afraid" (source also of Old Saxon forhta, Old Frisian fruchte, Old High German forhta, German Furcht, Gothic faurhtei "fear"). Not etymologically related to the word fear, which superseded it 13c. as the principal word except in cases of sudden terror. For spelling evolution, see fight (v.).
fright (v.) Look up fright at
"to frighten," Middle English, from Old English fyrhtan "to terrify, fill with fear," from the source of fright (n.). Old English also had forhtian "be afraid, become full of fear, tremble," but the primary sense of the verb in Middle English was "to make afraid."
frighten (v.) Look up frighten at
"strike with fear, terrify," 1660s, from fright (n.) + -en (1). Related: Frightened; frightening. The earlier verb was simply fright (v.).
frightening (adj.) Look up frightening at
1715, present participle adjective from frighten (v.). Related: Frighteningly.
frightful (adj.) Look up frightful at
mid-13c., "timid, fearful, full of terror," from fright (n.) + -ful. The prevailing modern sense of "alarming, full of occasion for fright" is from c. 1600. Meaning "dreadful, horrible, shocking" (often hyperbolic) is attested from c. 1700; Johnson noted it as "a cant word among women for anything unpleasing." Related: Frightfully; frightfulness. Middle English also had frighty "causing fear," also "afraid" (mid-13c.).
frigid (adj.) Look up frigid at
1620s, "intensely cold," from Latin frigidus "cold, chill, cool," figuratively "indifferent," also "flat, dull, trivial," from stem of frigere "be cold;" related to noun frigus "cold, coldness, frost," from Proto-Italic *srigos-, from PIE root *srig- "cold" (source also of Greek rhigos "cold, frost"). The meaning "wanting in sexual heat" is attested from 1650s, originally of males. Related: Frigidly; frigidness.
frigidity (n.) Look up frigidity at
early 15c., from Middle French frigidité (15c.), from Late Latin frigiditatem (nominative frigiditas) "the cold," from Latin frigidus "cold" (see frigid). In reference to sexual impotence, 1580s, originally of men; by 1903 of women.
frigorific (adj.) Look up frigorific at
"causing cold," 1660s, from French frigorifique, from Late Latin frigorificus "cooling," from frigor-, stem of Latin frigus "cold, cool, coolness" (see frigid) + -ficus "making," from root of facere "to make, do" (see factitious).
frijoles (n.) Look up frijoles at
Mexican kidney beans, 1570s, from Spanish frijoles (plural) "beans," from Latin phaseolus, phaselus "kidney bean," from Greek phaselos a name for a kind of bean.
frill (n.) Look up frill at
"wavy ornamental edging," 1801 (with a doubtful attestation from 1590s), of uncertain origin despite much speculation [see OED]; figurative sense of "useless ornament" first recorded 1893. Related: Frills.
frill (v.) Look up frill at
"to furnish with a frill," 1570s, from frill (n.) "ornamental bordering." Related: Frilled.
frillery (n.) Look up frillery at
"frills collectively; a frilly arrangement," 1842, from frill (n.) + -ery. Related: Frilleries.
frills (n.) Look up frills at
"mere embellishments," 1893, often in negative constructions; earlier "affectation of dress or manner" (1845), U.S. colloquial, from frill (n.) "ornamental bordering."
frilly (adj.) Look up frilly at
1843, from frill + -y (2). Related: Frilliness.
fringe (n.) Look up fringe at
early 14c., "ornamental bordering; material for a fringe," from Old French frenge "thread, strand, fringe, hem, border" (early 14c.), from Vulgar Latin *frimbia, metathesis of Late Latin fimbria, from Latin fimbriae (plural) "fibers, threads, fringe," which is of uncertain origin. Meaning "a border, edge" is from 1640s. Figurative sense of "outer edge, margin," is first recorded 1894. As an adjective by 1809. Related: Fringes. Fringe benefits is recorded from 1952.
fringe (v.) Look up fringe at
late 15c., "decorate with a fringe or fringes," from fringe (n.). Related: Fringed; fringing.
frippery (n.) Look up frippery at
1560s, "old clothes, cast-off garments," from Middle French friperie "old clothes, an old clothes shop," from Old French freperie, feuperie "old rags, rubbish, old clothes" (13c.), from frepe, feupe "fringe; rags, old clothes," from Late Latin faluppa "chip, splinter, straw, fiber." The notion is of "things worn down, clothes rubbed to rags." The ironic meaning "finery" (but with overtones of tawdriness) dates from 1630s.
Frisbee (n.) Look up Frisbee at
1957, trademark registered 1959 by Wham-O Company; the prototype was modeled on pie tins from Mrs. Frisbie's Pies, made by the Frisbie Bakery of Bridgeport, Connecticut, U.S. Middlebury College students began tossing them around in the 1930s (though Yale and Princeton also claim to have discovered their aerodynamic qualities).
Thirteen years ago the Wham-O Manufacturing Company of San Gabriel, Calif., ... brought out the first Frisbee. Wham-O purchased the rights from a Los Angeles building inspector named Fred Morrison, who in turn had been inspired by the airworthy pie tins of the Frisbie Bakery in Bridgeport, Conn. (which went out of business in March of 1958). He changed the spelling to avoid legal problems. ["Sports Illustrated," Aug. 3, 1970]
The family name is attested in English records from 1226, from a place name in Leicestershire (Frisby on the Wreak), attested from 1086, from Old Danish, meaning "farmstead or village of the Frisians" (Old Norse Frisa, genitive plural of Frisr; see Frisian). Also see by (prep.).
Frisco Look up Frisco at
colloquial shortening of San Francisco, California, U.S., attested by 1856.
friseur (n.) Look up friseur at
"hairdresser," mid-18c, from French friseur, from friser "to curl, frizz" (see frizz (v.)). Archaic from mid-19c.
Frisian (adj.) Look up Frisian at
1590s, "of or pertaining to the people of Frisia," the lowland coast of the North Sea and nearby islands (Old English Frysland, Freslond; adjective Freisisc), named for the Germanic tribe whose name was Latinized as Frisii," which perhaps originally meant "curly-headed" (compare Old Frisian frisle "curly hair"). The Frisians emerged along the North Sea coast c. 700 B.C.E. and were known by name to Tacitus (the only people mentioned in his work still known by the same name). The native form of the people name is Old English Frysan/Fresan (plural). Cognate with Old Frisian Frise, Middle Dutch Vriese, Old High German Friaso). As a noun from c. 1600, "West Germanic language spoken in Friesland." It is closely related to Dutch and Old English.
frisk (v.) Look up frisk at
1510s, "to dance, frolic," from Middle English adjective frisk "lively" (mid-15c.), from Middle French frisque "lively, brisk," in Old French "fresh, new; merry, animated" (13c.), which is possibly from a Germanic source (compare Middle Dutch vrisch "fresh," Old High German frisc "lively;" see fresh (adj.1)). Sense of "pat down in a search" first recorded 1781. Related: Frisked; frisking. As a noun, "a frolic, gambol," from 1520s.
frisky (adj.) Look up frisky at
"gaily active," c. 1500, from Middle English adjective frisk "lively" (see frisk (v.) + -y (2). Related: Friskiness.
frisson (n.) Look up frisson at
"emotional thrill," 1777 (Walpole), from French frisson "fever, illness; shiver, thrill" (12c.), from Latin frigere "to be cold" (see frigid). Scant record of the word in English between Walpole's use and 1888.
frist (n.) Look up frist at
"a certain space of time," Old English frist, first "space of time, period; respite, truce" (compare Old Frisian first, Old High German frist, Old Norse frest). Archaic from 16c. As a verb, "delay," from early 13c. (perhaps in Old English but unattested).
frit (n.) Look up frit at
"material for glass-making," 1660s, from Italian fritta, noun use of fem. past participle of friggere "to fry," from Latin frigere "to roast, poach, fry" (see fry (v.)).
fritillary (n.) Look up fritillary at
popular name of a type of British butterfly, 1857, earlier a type of plant (Fritillaria Meleagris, 1633), from Latin fritillus "dice-box," from fritinnire said to be imitative of the rattle of dice. The plant so called in allusion to the shape of its perianth. The butterfly so called perhaps from resemblance of its markings to those of dice or a chessboard (perhaps on the confused notion that fritillus meant "chessboard").
frittata (n.) Look up frittata at
1884, from Italian frittata "a fritter," from fritto "fried," past participle of friggere, from Latin frigere (see fry (v.)). Earlier in English as frittado (1630s).
fritter (v.) Look up fritter at
"whittle away, waste bit by bit, spend on trifles," 1728, probably from noun fritter "fragment or shred" (though this is recorded later), perhaps an alteration of 16c. fitters "fragments or pieces," which is perhaps ultimately from Old French fraiture "a breaking," from Latin fractura [OED]. Or perhaps from a Germanic *fet-source (compare Middle High German vetze "clothes, rags," Old English fetel "girdle").
fritter (n.) Look up fritter at
"fried batter cake," served hot and sometimes sweetened or seasoned or with other food in it, late 14c., from Old French friture "fritter, pancake, something fried" (12c.), from Late Latin frictura "a frying," from frigere "to roast, fry" (see fry (v.)).
Fritz Look up Fritz at
German familiar form of masc. proper name Friedrich; as a characteristic name for a German attested by 1883; very common in World War I. Phrase on the fritz "inoperative, not working properly" (1903) is American English slang, of unknown connection to the name; the earliest references suggest a theatrical origin.
frivolity (n.) Look up frivolity at
1796, from French frivolité, from Old French frivole "frivolous," from Latin frivolus (see frivolous).
frivolous (adj.) Look up frivolous at
mid-15c., from Latin frivolus "silly, empty, trifling, worthless," diminutive of *frivos "broken, crumbled," from friare "break, rub away, crumble" (see friable). In law (by 1736), "so clearly insufficient as to need no argument to show its weakness." Related: Frivolously; frivolousness.
frizz (v.) Look up frizz at
also friz, 1610s (implied in frizzed), probably from French friser "to curl, dress the hair" (16c.), perhaps from stem of frire "to fry, cook" (see fry (v.)). Assimilated to native frizzle. Related: Frizzed; frizzing. As a noun from 1660s, "frizzed hair."
frizzle (v.) Look up frizzle at
"curl hair," 1560s, of obscure origin. There are words of similar sound and sense in Old English (fris "curly"), Old Frisian (frisle), Middle French (friser "to curl") but their history is tangled; probably connected somehow to frizz (v.). Related: Frizzled; frizzling. As a noun from 1610s, "a short curl," from the verb. Frizzling iron was a 17c. term for "curling iron."
frizzy (adj.) Look up frizzy at
1842, from frizz (n.); see frizz (v.) + -y (2). Related: Frizzily; frizziness.
fro (adv., prep.) Look up fro at
"away, backwards," c. 1200, Northern English and Scottish dialectal fra, Midlands dialect fro, from Old Norse fra "from," from Proto-Germanic *fra "forward, away from," from PIE *pro- (see pro-). The Norse word is equivalent to Old English fram, thus fro is a doublet of from.
Frobelian Look up Frobelian at
in reference to kindergarten, 1873 in English, from name of German philosopher and education reformer Friedrich Fröbel (1782-1852) + -ian.
frock (n.) Look up frock at
mid-14c., from Old French froc "a monk's habit; clothing, dress" (12c.), which is of unknown origin; perhaps from Frankish *hrok or some other Germanic source (compare Old High German hroc "mantle, coat;" Old Norse rokkr, Old English rocc, Old Frisian rokk, German Rock "a coat, over-garment"). Another theory traces it to an alteration of Medieval Latin floccus, from Latin floccus "flock of wool." Meaning "outer garment for women or children" is from 1530s. Frock-coat attested by 1819.
frog (n.1) Look up frog at
Old English frogga "frog," a diminutive of frosc, forsc, frox "frog," a common Germanic word but with different formations that are difficult to explain (cognates: Old Norse froskr, Middle Dutch vorsc, German Frosch "frog"), probably literally "hopper," from PIE root *preu- "to hop" (source also of Sanskrit provate "hops," Russian prygat "to hop, jump"). Watkins calls the Old English -gga an "obscure expressive suffix."

The Latin word for it (rana) is imitative of croaking. Also in Middle English as frok, vrogge, frugge, and with sometimes plural form froggen. Collateral Middle English forms frude, froud are from Old Norse frauðr "frog," and native alternative form frosk "frog" survived in English dialects into the 19c.
I always eat fricasseed frogs regretfully; they remind one so much of miniature human thighs, and make one feel cannibalistic and horrid .... [H. Ellen Brown, "A Girl's Wanderings in Hungary," 1896]
As a British derogatory term for "Frenchman," 1778 (short for frog-eater), but before that (1650s) it meant "Dutch" (from frog-land "marshy land," in reference to their country). To have a frog in the throat "be hoarse" is from 1892, from frog as a name for a lump or swelling in the mouth (1650s) or throat infections causing a croaking sound.
frog (n.2) Look up frog at
type of fastening for clothing, 1719, originally a belt loop for carrying a weapon, of unknown origin; perhaps from Portuguese froco, from Latin floccus "flock of wool."
frog-march (n.) Look up frog-march at
also frog's march, 1871, a term that originated among London police and referred to their method of moving "a drunken or refractory prisoner" by carrying him face-down between four people, each holding a limb; the connection with frog (n.1) perhaps being the notion of going along belly-down. By the 1930s, the verb was used in reference to the much more efficient (but less frog-like) method of getting someone in an arm-behind-the-back hold and hustling him or her along. As a verb by 1884.
froggy (adj.) Look up froggy at
1610s, "full of frogs," from frog (n.1) + -y (2). Meaning "frog-like" is from 1837. Related: Frogginess.
froggy (n.) Look up froggy at
1822 as a familiar name for a frog, from frog (n.1) + -y (3). As a disparaging term for a Frenchman by 1857.
frogman (n.) Look up frogman at
"scuba diver in rubber suit," 1945, from frog (n.1) + man (n.).
frolic (v.) Look up frolic at
"make merry, have fun, romp playfully," 1580s, from frolic (adj.) "joyous, merry, full of mirth" (1530s), from Middle Dutch vrolyc "happy," a compound of vro- "merry, glad" + lyc "like" (see like (adj.)). The first part of the compound is cognate with Old Norse frar "swift," Middle English frow "hasty," from PIE *preu- "to hop" (see frog (n.1)), giving the whole an etymological sense akin to "jumping for joy." Similar formation in German fröhlich "happy." Related: Frolicked; frolicking. As a noun from 1610s.