frau (n.)

"married woman," 1813, from German Frau "woman, wife," from Middle High German vrouwe "lady, mistress," from Old High German frouwa "mistress, lady" (9c.), from Proto-Germanic *frowo "lady" (source also of Old English freo "woman, lady," Middle Dutch vrouwe, Dutch vrouw), fem. of *frawan "lord," from suffixed form of PIE *pro- (see pro-), extended form of root *per- (1) "forward," hence "in front of, before, toward, near," etc.. Swedish fru, Danish frue are ultimately from Dutch; the proper Scandinavian form is preserved in Old Norse freyja "lady," husfreyja "mistress of the house."

Share