Etymology
Advertisement
ruffle (v.)

early 14c., ruffelen, "to disturb the smoothness or order of," a word of obscure origin. Similar forms are found in Scandinavian (such as Old Norse hrufla "to scratch") and Low German (ruffelen "to wrinkle, curl;" Middle Low German ruffen "to fornicate"), but the exact relation and origin of them is uncertain. Also compare Middle English ruffelen "be at odds with, quarrel, dispute."

The meaning "disarrange" (hair or feathers) is recorded from late 15c.; the sense of "annoy, vex, distract" is from 1650s. Related: Ruffled; ruffling.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
ruffle (n.)

"ornamental frill of textile material drawn up at one end in gathers or plaits," 1707, from ruffle (v.). The sense of "disturbance, perturbation" is by 1704.

Related entries & more 
unruffled (adj.)
1650s in figurative sense, from un- (1) "not" + past participle of ruffle (v.). Literal meaning, in reference to feathers, leaves, etc., is recorded from 1816.
Related entries & more 
ruff (n.1)

kind of large band or frill, stiffly starched, 1520s, originally in reference to sleeves (of collars, from 1550s), probably a shortened form of ruffle (n.). They were especially common in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Extended to distinctive sets of feathers on the necks of birds from 1690s.

Related entries & more 
riffle (v.)

1754, "to make choppy water," American English, perhaps a variant of ruffle "make rough." The word meaning "shuffle" (cards) is recorded by 1894, perhaps echoic; hence "skim, leaf through quickly" (of papers, etc.), by 1922. The noun meaning "rapid formed by a rocky obstruction in the bed of a river" is by 1785. Related: Riffled; riffling.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
flounce (n.)

"deep ruffle on the skirt of a dress," 1713, from Middle English frounce "pleat, wrinkle, fold" (late 14c.), from Old French fronce "line, wrinkle; pucker, crease, fold," from Frankish *hrunkjan "to wrinkle," from Proto-Germanic *hrunk-, from PIE root *sker- (2) "to turn, bend." Influenced in form by flounce (v.). The verb meaning "arrange in flounces" is from 1711.

Related entries & more 
lob (n.)
a word of widespread application to lumpish things or suggesting heaviness, pendence, or floppiness, probably ultimately from an unrecorded Old English word. Compare East Frisian lobbe "hanging lump of flesh," Dutch lob "hanging lip, ruffle, hanging sleeve," Danish lobbes "clown, bumpkin;" Old English lobbe "spider." From late 13c. as a surname; meaning "pollack" is from early 14c.; that of "lazy lout" is from late 14c. Meaning "thick mixture" is from 1839, originally in brewing.
Related entries & more 
*sker- (2)

also *ker-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to turn, bend."

It forms all or part of: arrange; circa; circadian; circle; circuit; circum-; circumcision; circumflex; circumnavigate; circumscribe; circumspect; circumstance; circus; cirque; corona; crepe; crest; crinoline; crisp; crown;  curb; curvature; curve; derange;  flounce (n.) "deep ruffle on the skirt of a dress;" krone; ring (n.1) "circular band;" ranch; range; ranger; rank (n.) "row, line series;" research; recherche; ridge; rink; rucksack; search; shrink.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Latin curvus "bent, curved," crispus "curly;" Old Church Slavonic kragu "circle;" perhaps Greek kirkos "ring," koronos "curved;" Old English hring "ring, small circlet."

Related entries & more 
crepe (n.)

1797, "crape-like fabric," especially white or colored, not the ordinary black for mourning, from French crêpe, Old French crespe "ruff, ruffle, frill" (14c.), from Latin crispa, fem. of crispus "curled, wrinkled, having curly hair," from PIE root *sker- (2) "to turn, bend." Crepe paper is attested by 1895.

Meaning "small, thin pancake" is from 1877, from French galette crêpe "curled/wrinkled pancake" (compare crumpet). Recipes for what seem to be similar things are in English cookery books from late 14c., often as crispes, cryspes, but at least once as cryppys. Related: Creperie. Crepe suzette "light pancake served rolled or folded, sprinkled with orange liqueur or brandy and flambéed," is by 1910 in English (suzette pancake is from 1907) and was the usual form until c. 1980.

Contemporary evidence suggests that its most likely creator was a head waiter at Restaurant Paillard in Paris in 1889, and that it was named in honour of an actress in the Comédie Française who played the part of a maid serving pancakes. ... [T]hey were for perhaps the first two thirds of the twentieth century the epitome of the luxurious, expensive, and exclusive dessert. [Ayto, "Diner's Dictionary"]
Related entries & more