late 13c., "cook (something) in a shallow pan over a fire," from Old French frire "to fry" (13c.), from Latin frigere "to roast or fry," from PIE *bher- "to cook, bake" (source also of Sanskrit bhrjjati "roasts," bharjanah "roasting;" Persian birishtan "to roast;" perhaps also Greek phrygein "to roast, bake"). Intransitive sense is from late 14c. U.S. slang meaning "execute in the electric chair" is U.S. slang from 1929. As a noun, "fried meat," from 1630s. Related: Fried; frying. Frying pan is recorded from mid-14c. (friing panne).