early 13c., from O.Fr. folie
, from fol
). Sense of "costly structure considered to have shown folly in the builder" is attested from 1650s. Used since M.E. of place names, especially country estates, as a form of O.Fr. folie
in its meaning "delight." Meaning "glamorous theatrical revue with lots of pretty girls" is from 1880, from French.