Almost everybody knows the story of how the frisbee came to be. Back in the 1930s, some New England college goofballs started tossing around upside down pie tins. One kind of these tins was manufactured by the Mrs. Frisbie's Pies company. Obviously, the name stuck. Eventually, big money realized that there was profit in selling such projectiles, notably a corporation called the Wham-O Company, which immediately slapped a trademark on its newly-popular product. Technically, the trademark remains to today, so the word Frisbee shouldn't be ubiquitous and should always be capitalized. Going backwards now, Frisbee is clearly a proper noun, one which has been present throughout basically all of English as we know it. The word can be followed back to an alteration of Frisby, a word to describe the Frisians, an ethnic group of people. This means the word is definitely Germanic (as the people are), and even more definitely Indo-European. What a bucket of giggles!
Adam Aleksic is a 221-month-old, 2800-ounce high school senior with disturbing interests in etymology, vexillology, geography, board games, limericks, and law. Adam will be studying linguistics at Harvard University in the fall.
The Etymology Nerd