"sculptured horizontal band in architecture," 1563, from M.Fr. frise, originally "a ruff," from M.L. frisium "embroidered border," variant of frigium, probably from L. Phrygium "Phrygian, Phrygian work," from Phrygia, the ancient country in Asia Minor known for its embroidery. Folk etymology is Fr. drap de Frise "cloth of Friesland." Meaning "decorative band along the top of a wall" was in O.Fr.