This week's dictionary is the fourth edition of the Concise Etymological as compiled by the Reverend Walter Skeat, 1894. The copy I own has a pasted in book plate, so I know that in March 1932 this book belonged to Mary Finney. The cover has some rodent damage and the pages bear some discoloration; overall it is finely made and the paper superbly silky.
It strikes me as incongruous that the first word I jab (eyes closed, that's the game) is 'frill, a ruffle on a shirt.' I was expecting something less decorative, something strict, a fastidious, perhaps, or a firmament?
Yet this word has a history that traces back through Low Latin, frigidulosus; from the Latin frigidus; cold; and frigere; to be cold; leaks through to Old French (sourced from the dictionaries of Roquefort) friller; to shiver with cold; and settles as part of the English collection via the practice of hawking. A hawk ruffles its neck feathers for warmth: a chilly hawk was said to frill.
Visions of a hunter; bird talons curled into the thick leather of a glove; snow flurries, ice sharp wind: Roquefort at his desk, lamp-lit, laborious at study: Latin: the grand root of all the Romance languages, spread over conquered kingdoms, consolidating form so as to be understood by this widening audience and simultaneously diluting, taking on vernacular; weaving and morphing: all language and life is in the flow. And can be represented in a ruffle on a shirt.