French (n.) Look up French at
from Old English frencisc (early Middle English frencisc, frenscen) "French person; the French nation," from the adjective (see French (adj.)). From c. 1300 as "the French language." Euphemistic meaning "bad language" (pardon my French) is from 1895. French Français is from Medieval Latin *francencis, from francus "a Frank" + nationality suffix -ensis "belonging to" (see -ese).
French fries (n.) Look up French fries at
1903, American English, earlier French fried potatoes (by 1856); see French (adj.) + fry (v.). Literally "potatoes fried in the French style." The name is from the method of making them by immersion in fat, which was then considered a peculiarity of French cooking.
There are 2 ways of frying known to cooks as (1) wet frying, sometimes called French frying or frying in a kettle of hot fat; and (2) dry frying or cooking in a frying pan. The best results are undoubtedly obtained by the first method, although it is little used in this country. ["The Household Cook Book," Chicago, 1902]
French frieds (1944) never caught on. Simple short form fries attested by 1973. In the Upper Midwest of the U.S., sometimes called, with greater accuracy, American fries (1950), and briefly during a period of mutual ill feeling, an attempt was made at freedom fries (2003; compare liberty-cabbage for sauerkraut during World War I). Related: French-fry.
Frenchify (v.) Look up Frenchify at
1590s, from French + -ify. Usually contemptuous (Richardson in his introduction to "Pamela," beseeches the editor not to "Frenchify our English solidity into froth and whip-syllabub"). Related: Frenchified; Frenchifying.
frenetic (adj.) Look up frenetic at
late 14c., frenetik, "temporarily deranged, delirious, crazed," from Old French frenetike "mad, crazy" (13c.), from Latin phreneticus "delirious," alteration of Greek phrenitikos, from phrenitis "frenzy," literally "inflammation of the brain," from phren "mind, reason," also "diaphragm" (see phreno-) + -itis "inflammation." The classical ph- sometimes was restored from mid-16c. (see phrenetic). Related: Frenetical; frenetically. Compare frantic.
frenum (n.) Look up frenum at
1741, from Latin frenum "a bridle, curb, bit," which is of unknown origin.
frenzied (adj.) Look up frenzied at
1796, past participle adjective from frenzy (v.). Related: Frenziedly.
frenzy (n.) Look up frenzy at
mid-14c., "delirium, insanity," from Old French frenesie "frenzy, madness" (13c.), from Medieval Latin phrenesia, from phrenesis, back-formation from Latin phreneticus "delirious" (see frenetic). Meaning "excited state of mind" is from c. 1400.
frenzy (v.) Look up frenzy at
1795, from frenzy (n.). Related: Frenzied; frenzying.
Freon (n.) Look up Freon at
1932, proprietary name in U.S. for fluorocarbons used in refrigeration technology. "The name was apparently constructed from fre(eze) + -on used as an arbitrary suffix" [Flood].
frequence (n.) Look up frequence at
1530s, "an assembling in large numbers," from French fréquence, from Latin frequentia "an assembling in great numbers" (see frequent). From c. 1600 as "frequent occurrence."
frequency (n.) Look up frequency at
1550s, "state of being crowded" (now obsolete); 1640s, "fact of occurring often;" from Latin frequentia "an assembling in great numbers, a crowding; crowd, multitude, throng," from frequentem (see frequent). Sense in physics, "rate of recurrence," especially of a vibration, is from 1831. In radio electronics, frequency modulation (1922, abbreviated F.M.) as a system of broadcasting is distinguished from amplitude modulation (or A.M.).
frequent (adj.) Look up frequent at
mid-15c., "ample, profuse," from Old French frequent, or directly from Latin frequentem (nominative frequens) "often, regular, repeated; in great numbers, crowded, numerous, filled, full, populous," which is of uncertain origin. Watkins says probably from PIE *bhrekw- "to cram together," and compares Greek phrassein "to fence in," Latin farcire "to cram." Meaning "common, usual" is from 1530s; that of "happening at short intervals, often recurring" is from c. 1600.
frequent (v.) Look up frequent at
late 15c., "visit or associate with," from Old French frequenter "attend frequently; assemble, gather together," from Latin frequentare "visit regularly; do frequently, repeat; assemble in throngs," from frequentem (see frequent (adj.)). Meaning "visit often" is from 1550s. Related: Frequented; frequenter; frequenting.
frequentative (n.) Look up frequentative at
"verb which expresses repetition of action," 1520s, from French fréquentatif, from Late Latin frequentativus "serving to denote the repetition of an act," from Latin frequentat-, past participle stem of frequentare "visit regularly; do frequently, repeat," from frequentem (see frequent (adj.)). Frequentive is considered incorrect, because -ive adjectives are normally formed on the Latin past participle.
frequently (adv.) Look up frequently at
"often and at short intervals," 1530s, from frequent (adj.) + -ly (2).
fresco (n.) Look up fresco at
1590s, in fresco, literally "in fresh," with a sense of "painted on fresh mortar or plaster," from Italian fresco "cool, fresh," as a noun "coolness, fresh air," from Old High German frisc, from Proto-Germanic *friskaz (see fresh (adj.1)). As a verb from 1849. Related: Frescoed. In 17c.-18c. it also could mean "coolness, shade."
fresh (adj.1) Look up fresh at
c. 1200, fresh, also fersh, "unsalted; pure; sweet; eager;" the modern form is a metathesis of Old English fersc, of water, "not salt, unsalted," itself transposed from Proto-Germanic *friskaz (source also of Old Frisian fersk, Middle Dutch versch, Dutch vers, Old High German frisc, German frisch "fresh"). Probably cognate with Old Church Slavonic presinu "fresh," Lithuanian preskas "sweet."

Sense of "new, recent" is from c. 1300; that of "not stale or worn" is from early 14c.; of memories from mid-14c. The metathesis, and the expanded Middle English senses of "new," "pure," "eager" probably are by influence of (or from) Old French fres (fem. fresche; Modern French frais "fresh, cool"), which is from Proto-Germanic *frisko-, and thus related to the English word. The Germanic root also is the source of Italian and Spanish fresco. Related: Freshly. Fresh pursuit in law is pursuit of the wrong-doer while the crime is fresh.
fresh (adj.2) Look up fresh at
"impudent, presumptuous," or as Century Dictionary puts it, "verdant and conceited," 1848, U.S. slang, probably from German frech "insolent, cheeky," from Old High German freh "covetous," related to Old English frec "greedy, bold" (see freak (n.2)).
fresh-water (adj.) Look up fresh-water at
also freshwater, 1520s, from fresh (adj.1) + water (n.1).
freshen (v.) Look up freshen at
1690s, "grow brisk, grow stronger" (intransitive), from fresh (adj.1) + -en (1). The earlier verb was simply fresh (mid-14c.). Transitive sense "refresh, revive, renew" is from 1749. Of a drink, "to top off," from 1961. Related: Freshened; freshening.
freshet (n.) Look up freshet at
1590s, "stream of fresh water; stream flowing into the sea," from obsolete fresh (n.) "a stream in flood" (1530s), also "mingling of fresh and salt water," from fresh (adj.1). Old English had fersceta in the same sense. Meaning "small flood or increased flow of an ebb tide caused by rain or melting snow" is from 1650s.
freshman (n.) Look up freshman at
1550s, "newcomer, novice," from fresh (adj.1) in the sense "making one's first acquaintance, inexperienced" + man (n.). Sense of "university student in first year" is attested from 1590s. As an adjective by 1805. Freshwoman is from 1620s. Related: Freshmen; freshmanic, freshmanship, freshmanhood.
freshness (n.) Look up freshness at
late 14c., from fresh (adj.1) + -ness.
fret (v.) Look up fret at
Old English fretan "devour, feed upon, consume," from Proto-Germanic compound *fra-etan "to eat up," from *fra- "completely" (see *per- (1)) + *etan "to eat" (see eat). Cognates include Dutch vreton, Old High German freggan, German fressen, Gothic fraitan.

Used of monsters and Vikings; in Middle English used of animals' eating. Notion of "wear away by rubbing or scraping" (c. 1200) might have come to this word by sound-association with Anglo-French forms of Old French froter "to rub, wipe; beat, thrash," which is from Latin fricare "to rub" (see friction). Figurative use is from c. 1200, of emotions, sins, vices, etc., "to worry, consume, vex" someone or someone's heart or mind, from either the "eating" or the "rubbing" sense. Intransitive sense "be worried, vex oneself" is by 1550s. Modern German still distinguishes essen for humans and fressen for animals. Related: Fretted; fretting. As a noun, early 15c., "a gnawing," also "the wearing effect" of awareness of wrongdoing, fear, etc.
fret (n.1) Look up fret at
"ornamental interlaced pattern," late 14c., from Old French frete "interlaced work, trellis work," probably from Frankish *fetur or another Germanic source (cognates: Old English fetor, Old High German feggara "a fetter, shackle") perhaps from the notion of "decorative anklet," or of materials "bound" together.
fret (n.2) Look up fret at
"ridge on the fingerboard of a guitar," c. 1500, of unknown origin, possibly from another sense of Old French frete "ring, ferule." Compare Middle English fret "a tie or lace" (early 14c.), freten (v.) "to bind, fasten" (mid-14c.).
fretful (adj.) Look up fretful at
1590s, "gnawing; disposed to fret," from fret (n.) (see fret (v.)) + -ful. Related: Fretfully; fretfulness.
fretless (adj.) Look up fretless at
1878, "without annoyance," from fret (n.) (see fret (v.)) + -less. By 1962 as "without frets" (of a banjo, guitar, etc.), from fret (n.2).
fretwork (n.) Look up fretwork at
also fret-work, "ornamental work consisting of frets," c. 1600, from fret (n.1) + work (n.).
Freudian (adj.) Look up Freudian at
1910, of or pertaining to the work or theories of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), Austrian psychiatrist. Freudian slip first attested 1959 (for an earlier word for a similar notion, see heterophemy).
Frey Look up Frey at
god of the earth's fruitfulness in Norse mythology, from Old Norse frey "lord," from Proto-Germanic *frawan "lord," from suffixed form of PIE *pro- (see pro-).
Freya Look up Freya at
goddess of sexual love and beauty in Norse mythology, from Old Norse Freyja, which is related to Old English frea "lord;" Old Saxon frua, Middle Dutch vrouwe "woman, wife," German Frau; see frau).
Frigga is usually considered the goddess of married love; Freya, the goddess of love, the northern Venus. Actually, Frigga is of the Aesir family of Scandinavian myth; Freya, of the Vanir family; the two lines of belief merged, and the two goddesses are sometimes fused, and sometimes confused. [Joseph T. Shipley, "The Origins of English Words," 1984]
friable (adj.) Look up friable at
1560s, from Middle French friable (16c.) and directly from Latin friabilis "easily crumbled or broken," from friare "rub away, crumble into small pieces," related to fricare "to rub" (see friction). Related: Friability.
friar (n.) Look up friar at
late 13c., from Old French frere "brother, friar" (9c., Modern French frère), originally referring to the mendicant orders (Franciscans, Augustines, Dominicans, Carmelites), who reached England early 13c., from Latin frater "brother" (see brother).
friary (n.) Look up friary at
1530s, from Middle French, from Old French frarie, from Medieval Latin fratria "a fraternity," from frater (see brother).
fricassee (n.) Look up fricassee at
1560s, from Middle French fricassée, noun use of fem. past participle of fricasser "mince and cook in sauce" (15c.), which is of uncertain origin. Perhaps a compound from elements related to or altered by Middle French frire "to fry" (see fry (v.)) and casser, quasser "to break, cut up" (see quash (v.)). As a verb, from 1650s.
fricative (adj.) Look up fricative at
1854, literally "characterized by friction," from Modern Latin fricativus, from Latin fricat-, past participle stem of fricare "to rub" (see friction). As a noun, "a fricative consonant," from 1863.
fricking (adj.) Look up fricking at
euphemism for fucking, by 1913. Related: Frick (v.).
friction (n.) Look up friction at
1560s, "a chafing, rubbing," from Middle French friction (16c.) and directly from Latin frictionem (nominative frictio) "a rubbing, rubbing down," noun of action from past participle stem of fricare "to rub, rub down," which is of uncertain origin. Watkins suggests possibly from PIE root *bhreie- "to rub, break." Sense of "resistance to motion" is from 1722; figurative sense of "disagreement, clash, lack of harmony, mutual irritation" first recorded 1761. Related: Frictional.
Friday (n.) Look up Friday at
sixth day of the week, Old English frigedæg "Friday, Frigga's day," from Frige, genitive of *Frigu (see Frigg), Germanic goddess of married love. The day name is a West Germanic translation of Latin dies Veneris "day of (the planet) Venus," which itself translated Greek Aphrodites hemera.

Compare Old Norse frijadagr, Old Frisian frigendei, Middle Dutch vridach, Dutch vrijdag, German Freitag "Friday," and the Latin-derived cognates Old French vendresdi, French vendredi, Spanish viernes. In Germanic religion, Freya (q.v.) corresponds more closely in character to Venus than Frigg does, and some early Icelandic writers used Freyjudagr for "Friday."

A fast-day in the Church, hence Friday face (17c.) for a gloomy countenance. Black Friday as the name for the busy shopping day after U.S. Thanksgiving holiday is said to date from 1960s and perhaps was coined by those who had the job of controlling the crowds, not by the merchants; earlier it was used principally of Fridays when financial markets crashed (1866, 1869, 1873).
fridge (n.) Look up fridge at
shortened and altered form of refrigerator, 1926, an unusual way of word-formation in English; perhaps influenced by Frigidaire (1919), name of a popular early brand of self-contained automatically operated iceless refrigerator (Frigidaire Corporation, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.), a name suggesting Latin frigidarium "a cooling room in a bath." Frigerator as a colloquial shortening is attested by 1886.
fried (adj.) Look up fried at
mid-14c., past participle adjective from fry (v.). Friend chicken attested by 1832.
Friedrich Look up Friedrich at
see Frederick.
friend (n.) Look up friend at
Old English freond "one attached to another by feelings of personal regard and preference," from Proto-Germanic *frijand- "lover, friend" (source also of Old Norse frændi, Old Danish frynt, Old Frisian friund, Dutch vriend, Middle High German friunt, German Freund, Gothic frijonds "friend"), from PIE *priy-ont-, "loving," present participle form of root *pri- "to love" (see free (adj.)).

Meaning "a Quaker" (a member of the Society of Friends) is from 1670s. Feond ("fiend," originally "enemy") and freond often were paired alliteratively in Old English; both are masculine agent nouns derived from present participle of verbs, but they are not directly related to one another (see fiend). Related: Friends.
friend (v.) Look up friend at
in the Facebook sense, attested from 2005, from the noun. Friend occasionally has been used as a verb in English since c. 1200 ("to be friends"), though the more usual verb for "join in friendship, act as a friend" is befriend. Related: Friended; friending. Old English had freonsped "an abundance of friends" (see speed (n.)); freondleast "want of friends;" freondspedig "rich in friends."
friendless (adj.) Look up friendless at
Old English freondleas "friendless," also "orphan," and, as a noun, "an outlaw;" see friend (n.) + -less. Related: Friendlessly; friendlessness.
friendly (adj.) Look up friendly at
Old English freondlic "well-disposed, kindly;" see friend (n.) + -ly (1). Related: Friendlily; friendliness. As an adverb Old English had freondliche, but by 14c. as the inflections wore off in English it had become indistinguishable from the adjective. Probably owing to that it is rare in modern use; friendfully (mid-15c.) and the correct but ungainly friendlily (1670s) never caught on.
friendship (n.) Look up friendship at
Old English freondscipe "friendship, mutual liking and regard," also "conjugal love;" see friend (n.) + -ship. Similar formation in Dutch vriendschap, German Freundschaft, Swedish frändskap.
frieze (n.1) Look up frieze at
"sculptured horizontal band in architecture," 1560s, from Middle French frise, originally "a ruff," from Medieval Latin frisium "embroidered border," variant of frigium, which is probably from Latin Phrygium "Phrygian; Phrygian work," from Phrygia, the ancient country in Asia Minor known for its embroidery (Latin also had Phrygiae vestes "ornate garments"). Meaning "decorative band along the top of a wall" was in Old French.
frieze (n.2) Look up frieze at
type of coarse woolen cloth with a nap on one side, late 14c., from Old French frise, probably ultimately from a German or Dutch word meaning "to curl" and related to frizzle.