c. 1610s, "legal quibbling, sophistry, mean or petty tricks," from French chicanerie "trickery," from chicaner "to pettifog, quibble" (15c.), which is of unknown origin, perhaps from Middle Low German schikken "to arrange, bring about," or from the name of a golf-like game once played in Languedoc. Also compare French chic "small, little," as a noun "a small piece; finesse, subtlety." Thornton's "American Glossary" has shecoonery (1845), which it describes as probably a corruption of chicanery.
a word used in English in various senses, including "act of chicanery, art of gaining advantage by using evasions or cheating tricks" (1670s), also "obstacles on a roadway" (by 1935), also a term in bridge (1880s), apparently all ultimately from an archaic verb chicane "to trick" (1670s), from French chicane "trickery" (16c.), from chicaner "to pettifog, quibble" (15c., see chicanery).
1856, "style in fine art, artistic skill, faculty of producing excellence rapidly and easily," from French chic "stylishness" (19c.), originally "subtlety" (16c.), which is of unknown origin. Perhaps [Klein] it is related to German Schick, Geschick "tact, skill, aptness," from Middle Low German schikken "arrange appropriately," or Middle High German schicken "to arrange, set in order." Or perhaps it is from French chicane, from chicanerie "trickery" (see chicanery).
Meaning "Parisian elegance and stylishness combined with originality" is by 1882 (Pall Mall Gazette, Sept. 6, 1888, uses the word in a concert review and pauses to define it as "an untranslatable word, denoting an indispensable quality"). As an adjective, in reference to persons, "stylish," 1879 in English. "Not so used in F[rench]" [OED].