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1870, "a rustling," from French (19c.), possibly imitative of the rustling of a dress. Meaning "fussy details" is from 1876.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Examples from the Web for frou-frou
Historical Examples
  • frou-frou, who stands for her, is not in the least the true type.

  • frou-frou is a creature that can love, can suffer, can repent, can die.

  • But frou-frou is in no sense the true Femme Galante of her day.

  • But before we left him he insisted that we should sit through his favourite "frou-frou."

    Poor Folk in Spain Jan Gordon
  • We can almost hear the frou-frou of their garments in his pictures.

    Watteau C. Lewis Hind
  • No people in their right senses could have accepted my "frou-frou" instead of Sarah's.

    The Story of My Life Ellen Terry
  • And she went out, and I heard by the frou-frou of her skirts that she was ascending the stairs.

    The Czar's Spy William Le Queux
  • The soft "frou-frou" of the dry grass beneath him sounded to his excited fancy like the sudden rushing of a torrent.

    Queensland Cousins Eleanor Luisa Haverfield
  • Suddenly the silence of the room was broken by the frou-frou of a silk dress in the corridor outside.

    The Quiver 12/1899 Anonymous
  • The breeze murmured more persistently, and anon with its dreamlike sound there mingled the frou-frou of a woman's skirts.

    Petticoat Rule Emmuska Orczy, Baroness Orczy
Slang definitions & phrases for frou-frou



Frilly dress and adornment; frivolous bedizenment: Is that what you want in a girl, chi-chi, frou-frou, fancy clothes, permanent waves?

[1870+; fr French, imitative of the rustling of silk]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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