1560s, from 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 French frire "to fry" (see fry (v.)) and casser, quasser "to break, cut up" (see quash (v.)). As a verb, from 1650s.
type of turnover, originally Spanish and Portuguese, the word and the thing came into English via Latin America, 1920s, American English, from Spanish empanada, past-participle adjective (fem.) of empanar "to roll in pastry and fry," from pan "bread," from Latin panis "bread," from PIE root *pa- "to feed."
"easily crumbled or pulverized; easily reduced to powder," 1560s, from 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. "Confusion between the common word meaning crumbly & the -able adjective from fry is not likely enough to justify the irregular spelling fryable for the latter ...." [Fowler].
"food," originally especially "Chinese food," 1856, American English (originally in California), from Chinese pidgin English chow-chow (1795) "food; mixed pickle or preserve; mix or medley of any sort," perhaps a reduplication of Chinese cha or tsa "mixed," or Cantonese chaau "to fry, cook." Hence also chow-chow (adj.) "mixed" (1845), since used as a noun in reference to various preserves or relish.
The dog breed of the same name is from 1886, of unknown origin, but some suggest a link to the Chinese tendency to see dogs as edible.
c. 1600, Cornish name for a type of fish (also known as horse mackerel) abundant on the British coast; a name of uncertain origin, perhaps a variant of shad. OED compares Welsh ysgaden "herrings," Norwegian dialectal skad, Swedish skädde "flounder."
In July, 1834, as Mr. Yarrell informs us, most extraordinary shoals passed up the channel along the coast of Glamorganshire; their passage occupied a week, and they were evidently in pursuit of the fry of the herring. The water appeared one dark mass of fish, and they were caught by cart-loads, and might even be baled out of the water by the hands alone. ["British Fish and Fisheries," 1849]
c. 1400, erþe-worme, popular name of the worms of the family Lumbricidae, from earth + worm (n.). In this sense Old English had eorðmata, also regnwyrm, literally "rain-worm." Old English also had angel-twæcce "earthworm used as bait" (with second element from root of twitch), sometimes used in medieval times as a medicament:
For the blake Jawndes take angylltwacches, er þei go in to the erth in the mornynge and fry hem. Take ix or x small angyltwacches, and bray hem, and giff the syke to drynke fastynge, with stale ale, but loke þat thei bene grounden so small that þe syke may nat se, ne witt what it is, for lothynge. [Book of Medical Recipes in Medical Society of London Library, c. 1450]
The people who inhabit the highlands of Southern Brazil have a firm belief in the existence of a gigantic earthworm fifty yards or more in length, five in breadth, covered with bones as with a coat-of-mail, and of such strength as to be able to uproot great pine-trees as though they were blades of grass, and to throw up such quantities of clay in making its way underground as to dam up streams and divert them into new courses. This redoubtable monster is known as the "Minhocao." [Popular Science, August 1878]
"a vertebrate which has gills and fins adapting it for living in the water," Old English fisc "fish," from Proto-Germanic *fiskaz (source also of Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Old High German fisc, Old Norse fiskr, Middle Dutch visc, Dutch vis, German Fisch, Gothic fisks), perhaps from PIE root *pisk- "a fish." But Boutkan on phonetic grounds thinks it might be a northwestern Europe substratum word.
Popularly, since Old English, "any animal that lives entirely in the water," hence shellfish, starfish (an early 15c. manuscript has fishes bestiales for "water animals other than fishes"). The plural is fishes, but in a collective sense, or in reference to fish meat as food, the singular fish generally serves for a plural. In reference to the constellation Pisces from late 14c.
Fish (n.) for "person" is from 1750 with a faintly dismissive sense; earlier it was used in reference to a person considered desirable to "catch" (1722). Figurative sense of fish out of water "person in an unfamiliar and awkward situation" attested by 1610s (a fisshe out of the see in the same sense is from mid-15c.). To drink like a fish is from 1744. To have other fish to fry "other objects which invite or require attention" is from 1650s. Fish-eye as a type of lens is from 1961. Fish-and-chips is from 1876; fish-fingers from 1962.