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.
1796, from French frivolité, from Old French frivole "frivolous," from Latin frivolus (see frivolous).
"light, frivolous woman," 1520s, first element of uncertain origin, second element is Middle English gig "frivolous person" (see gig (n.1)).
mid-14c., "a trick, a cheat;" late 14c. "a joke, a jest; a frivolous pastime, something of little importance" (late 14c.); see jape (v.). By 1400 also "depraved or immoral act; undignified behavior; bawdiness." Related: Japery "jesting, joking, raillery, mockery" (mid-14c.).
early 15c., "very lively, frivolous," perhaps from Scandinavian base *skyt- (stem of Old Norse skjota "to shoot, launch, move quickly"), from PIE root *skeud- "to shoot, chase, throw." Sense of "shy, nervous, apt to run" first recorded c. 1500, of horses. Related: Skittishly; skittishness.
1520s, "chatter, frivolous talk;" see chat (v.). The meaning "familiar conversation" is from 1570s. As a name for birds with chattering cries, 1690s. Chat show for what in U.S. is a talk show is attested from 1967. Chat room in the online sense is attested by 1994, from the days when AOL ruled the primeval World Wide Web.
"piece of light satire or caricature," 1820, from earlier sense "a satirical remark or reflection" (1727), originally (1570s) "a vain, frivolous, or wanton girl" (originally Scottish, now archaic), related to verb meaning "to shy or be skittish, caper, frolic" (1610s), perhaps from Old Norse skjuta "to shoot, move quickly" (see skittish).