1798, from French fronde (14c.), "sling," from Old French fonde "sling, catapult," from Latin funda "a sling; dragnet, casting-net," a word of unknown origin. It was the name given to the party which rose against Mazarin and the court during the minority of Louis XIV, supposedly from the use of stone-casting slings to attack property of their opponents, or from their opponents' contemptuous comparison of them to the slingshot-armed street boys of Paris. Hence the name sometimes was used figuratively for "violent political opposition." Related: Frondeur.
updated on October 10, 2017