I came across the word kickshaw in Fanny Burney's Evelina, a word which, coincidentally (given that my last post was devoted to the dictionary Hobson-Jobson), is an example of a Hobson-Jobsonism, or a word that has undergone the Hobson-Jobson process.
Yule and Burnell took the title of their dictionary from the anglicisation of a chant they heard while in 19th-century India - Ya Hasan! Ya Husain! (Hasan and Husain were the grandsons of the Prophet Mohammed), which for some reason sounded like 'Hobson-Jobson' to British ears. The term 'law of Hobson-Jobson' has entered the OED to mean the process of adapting a foreign word to the sound system of the adopting language. Hobson-Jobsonism is in the OED, too, and this means a word that has undergone such a process (like 'plonk', for instance, which is from the French vin blanc, or 'cockroach', which is from the Spanish cucaracha).
Kickshaw is an anglicisation of the French quelque chose (meaning 'something'). The original meaning in English (late 17th century) was 'a fancy dish in cookery' (OED). The OED goes on to remind us that the word was often used contemptuously, namely as "A ‘something’ French, not one of the known ‘substantial English’ dishes". It soon came to mean 'trinket,' 'trifle' or something dainty but worthless.
I like the entry for Kickshaw in Dr. Johnson's Dictionary of 1755, particularly the second definition given: "A dish so changed by the cookery that it can scarcely be known", (the first definition is "Something uncommon, fantastical; something ridiculous"). Johnson has an introductory comment to the word, too: "This word is supposed, I think with truth, to be only a corruption of quelque chose, something; yet Milton seems to have understood it otherwise, for he writes it kickshoe, as if he thought it used in contempt of dancing". The Milton quotation in question is "Shall we need the monsieurs of Paris to take our youth into their flight custodies, and send them over back again transformed into mimicks, apes and kickshoes?"
I find it impossible to look up one definition in Johnson's Dictionary and leave it at that; it's far too easy to get sidetracked. The Milton citation above reminded me of another lovely Johnson definition -- Monsieur: a term of reproach for a Frenchman. And the entry following kickshaw in the dictionary is Kicksy-wicksey: "A made word in ridicule and disdain of a wife". Kicksy-wicksey is illustrated with a Shakespeare quotation (from All's Well That Ends Well): "He wears his honour in a box, unseen, That hugs his kicksy-wicksey here at home, Spending his manly marrow in her arms".