"frolic, merrymaking," 1590s, earlier gambolde "a skipping, a leap or spring" (1510s), from French gambade (15c.), from Late Latin gamba "horse's hock or leg," from Greek kampē "a bending" (on notion of "a joint"); see campus. Ending altered perhaps by confusion with formerly common ending -aud, -ald (as in ribald).
"jump or leap over," especially by aid of the hands or a pole, 1530s, transitive (implied in vaulting); 1560s, intransitive, from French volter "to gambol, leap," from Italian voltare "to turn," from Vulgar Latin *volvitare "to turn, leap," frequentative of Latin volvere "to turn, turn around, roll" (from PIE root *wel- (3) "to turn, revolve"). Related: Vaulted; vaulting.
1510s, "to dance, frolic," from Middle English adjective frisk "lively" (mid-15c.), from Old French frisque "lively, brisk," also "fresh, new; merry, animated" (13c.), which is ultimately from a Germanic source (compare Middle Dutch vrisch "fresh," Old High German frisc "lively;" see fresh (adj.1)). Sense of "pat down in a search" first recorded 1781. Related: Frisked; frisking. As a noun, "a frolic, a gambol," from 1520s.