1769, from ricochet (v.) or French ricochet "the skipping of a shot or of a flat stone on water," but in earliest French use (15c.) "verbal to-and-fro," and only in the phrase fable du ricochet, an entertainment in which the teller of a tale skillfully evades questions, and chanson du ricochet, a kind of repetitious song; of uncertain origin.
1758, originally in a military sense, from French ricochet (n.) "the skipping of a shot, or of a flat stone on water" (see ricochet (n.). Related: Ricochetted; ricochetting.
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