"pendent mass of ice tapering downward to a point, formed by the freezing of drops of water flowing down from the place of attachment," early 14c., isykle, from is "ice" (see ice (n.)) + Middle English ikel, a word that by itself meant "icicle," from Old English gicel "icicle, ice" (found in compounds, such as cylegicel "chill ice"), from Proto-Germanic *jekilaz (source also of Old Norse jaki "piece of ice," diminutive jökull "icicle, ice; glacier;" Old High German ihilla "icicle"), from PIE *yeg- "ice" (source also of Middle Irish aig "ice," Welsh ia). Dialectal ickle "icicle" survived into 20c.
The latter element came to lose its independent meaning, and has suffered under popular etymology; explained in books as a mere dim. termination -icle, as in article, particle, etc., it appears transformed in the obs. or dial. forms ice-sickle, ise-sicklc, ice-shackle, ice-shoggle, OSc. iceshogle, icechokill, etc. [Century Dictionary]
fem. proper name, German, literally "battle-maid," from fem. of Old High German hild "war, battle, fight, combat," from Proto-Germanic *hildiz "battle" (source also of Old English (poetic) hild "war, battle," Old Saxon hild, Old High German hilt, Old Norse hildr), from PIE *keldh-, from root *kel- "to strike, cut" (see holt). Hild-/-hild was a common Germanic name-forming element; compare Hildebrand, Brunhild, Matilda.
Old English hild figured widely in kenning compounds: Hildbedd "deathbed;" hildegicel "blood dripping from a sword," literally "battle-icicle;" hildenædre "arrow, lance, spear," literally "war-adder;" hildesæd "weary of fighting, battle-worn," literally "battle-sad."