In chess, the French call the “bishop” fou, and used to
represent the piece in a fool's dress; hence, Regnier says, “Les
fous sont aux échecs les plus proches des Rois” (14 Sat.).
Fou is a corruption of the Eastern word Fol (an elephant),
as Thomas Hyde remarks in his Ludis Orientalibus (i. 4), and on
old boards the places occupied by our “bishops” were occupied by
A Tom Fool.
A person who makes himself ridiculous. (See Tom.)
“The ancient and noble family of Tom Fool.”
[a food], as gooseberry fool, raspberry fool, means
gooseberries or raspberries pressed. (French, fouler, to press.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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