- foist (v.)
- 1540s, from Dutch vuisten "take in hand," from Middle Dutch vuist "fist" (see fist). Earliest sense was cheating at dice by concealing a loaded one in the palm of the hand with the intention of introducing it into play; meaning "introduce surreptitiously" is from 1560s. Related: Foisted; foisting.
- German monoplane, 1913, from name of A.H.G. Fokker (1890-1939), Dutch engineer and inventor.
- fold (v.)
- Old English faldan (Mercian), fealdan (West Saxon), transitive, "to bend cloth back over itself," class VII strong verb (past tense feold, past participle fealden), from Proto-Germanic *falthan, *faldan (cognates: Middle Dutch vouden, Dutch vouwen, Old Norse falda, Middle Low German volden, Old High German faldan, German falten, Gothic falþan).
The Germanic words are from PIE *pel-to- (cognates: Sanskrit putah "fold, pocket," Albanian pale "fold," Middle Irish alt "a joint," Lithuanian pleta "I plait"), from root *pel- (3) "to fold" (also source of Greek ploos "fold," Latin -plus).
The weak form developed from 15c. In late Old English also of the arms. Intransitive sense, "become folded" is from c.1300 (of the body or limbs); earlier "give way, fail" (mid-13c.). Sense of "to yield to pressure" is from late 14c. Related: Folded; folding.
- fold (n.1)
- "pen or enclosure for sheep or other domestic animals," Old English falæd, falud "stall, stable, cattle-pen," a general Germanic word (cognates: East Frisian folt "enclosure, dunghill," Dutch vaalt "dunghill," Danish fold "pen for sheep"), of uncertain origin. Figurative use by mid-14c.
- fold (n.2)
- "a bend or ply in anything," mid-13c., from fold (v.).
- fold-out (n.)
- 1961, from fold (v.) + out.
- folder (n.)
- 1550s as "one who folds;" 1911 as "folding cover for loose papers;" agent noun from fold (v.).
- foliage (n.)
- mid-15c., from Middle French feuillage, from Old French feuille "leaf" (see foil (n.)). The form has altered by influence of Latin folium.
- foliate (adj.)
- 1620s, from Latin foliatus "leaved, leafy," from folium (see folio).
- foliate (v.)
- 1660s, "to apply silver leaf," from Latin foliatus "leaved, leafy," from folium (see folio). Meaning "to put forth leaves" is from 1775. Related: Foliated; foliating.
- foliation (n.)
- 1620s, from French foliation or formed in English from Latin foliatus (see foliate (v.)).
- folic (adj.)
- in reference to type of acid, 1941, coined from Latin folium "leaf" (see folio) + -ic. So called for its abundance in green leaves, such as those of spinach.
- folio (n.)
- mid-15c., from Late Latin folio "leaf or sheet of paper," from Latin folio, ablative of folium "leaf," from PIE *bhulyom "leaf" (cognates: Greek phyllon "leaf," Gaelic bile "leaflet, blossom"), from root *bhel- (2) "to blow, inflate, swell" (see bole). Ablative of location, because this was used in page references. Meaning "volume of the largest size" first attested 1620s.
- folium (n.)
- see folio.
- folk (n.)
- Old English folc "common people, laity; men; people, nation, tribe; multitude; troop, army," from Proto-Germanic *folkom (cognates: Old Frisian folk, Middle Dutch volc, German Volk "people"), from Proto-Germanic *fulka-, perhaps originally "host of warriors;" compare Old Norse folk "people," also "army, detachment;" and Lithuanian pulkas "crowd," Old Church Slavonic pluku "division of an army," both believed to have been borrowed from Proto-Germanic. Old English folcstede could mean both "dwelling-place" and "battlefield."
Some have attempted to link the word to Greek plethos "multitude;" Latin plebs "people, mob," populus "people" or vulgus; OED and Klein discount this theory but it is accepted in Watkins. The plural form has been usual since 17c. Superseded in most senses by people. Old English folc was commonly used in forming compounds, such as folccwide "popular saying," folcgemot "town or district meeting;" folcwoh "deception of the public." Folk-etymology is attested from 1890.
By Folk-etymology is meant the influence exercised upon words, both as to their form and meaning, by the popular use and misuse of them. In a special sense, it is intended to denote the corruption which words undergo, owing either to false ideas about their derivation, or to a mistaken analogy with other words to which they are supposed to be related. [The Rev. A. Smythe Palmer, "Folk-Etymology," 1890]
- folk music
- 1889, from folk (also see folklore). In reference to the branch of modern popular music (originally associated with Greenwich Village in New York City) it dates from 1958.
- folkie (n.)
- "devotee of (modern) folk music," attested by 1966, with -ie.
- folklore (n.)
- 1846, coined by antiquarian William J. Thoms (1803-1885) as an Anglo-Saxonism (replacing popular antiquities) and first published in the "Athenaeum" of Aug. 22, 1846, from folk + lore. Old English folclar meant "homily."
This word revived folk in a modern sense of "of the common people, whose culture is handed down orally," and opened up a flood of compound formations, as in folk art (1892), folk-hero (1874), folk-medicine (1877), folk-tale/folk tale (1850; Old English folctalu meant "genealogy"), folk-song (1847), folk singer (1876), folk-dance (1877).
- folkloric (adj.)
- 1883, from folklore + -ic.
- folklorist (n.)
- 1881, from folklore + -ist.
- folks (n.)
- "people of one's family," 1715, colloquial, from plural of folk.
- folksy (adj.)
- "sociable, unpretentious," 1852, U.S. colloquial, from folks + -y (2).
- folkways (n.)
- coined 1907 in book of the same name by U.S. sociologist William Graham Sumner (1840-1910), who also is credited with ethnocentrism, found in the same book. See folk (n.) + way (n.).
Folkways are habits of the individual and customs of the society which arise from efforts to satisfy needs. ... Then they become regulative for succeeding generations and take on the character of a social force. [Sumner, "Folkways"]
- folky (adj.)
- "characteristic of the common people," 1914, from folk + -y (2). Old English had folcisc "popular, secular, common."
- follicle (n.)
- early 15c., from French follicule or directly from Latin folliculus "little bag," diminutive of follis "bellows, inflated ball," from PIE *bhol-n-, suffixed form of root *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell" (see bole).
- follies (n.)
- "revue with glamorous female performers," 1908, from French folies (mid-19c.), from folie (see folly), probably in its sense of "extravagance" (compare extravaganza).
- follow (v.)
- Old English folgian, fylgan "follow, accompany; follow after, pursue," also "obey, apply oneself to a practice or calling," from Proto-Germanic *fulg- (cognates: Old Saxon folgon, Old Frisian folgia, Middle Dutch volghen, Dutch volgen, Old High German folgen, German folgen, Old Norse fylgja "to follow").
Probably originally a compound, *full-gan with a sense of "full-going;" the sense then shifting to "serve, go with as an attendant" (compare fulfill). Related: Followed; following. To follow one's nose "go straight on" first attested 1590s. "The full phrase is, 'Follow your nose, and you are sure to go straight.' " [Farmer].
- follow up (n.)
- also follow-up, 1923, originally in the argot of personnel management, from verbal phrase follow up (1847).
- follow-through (n.)
- 1897, of golf swings, from verbal phrase follow through. Figurative use from 1926.
- follower (n.)
- Old English folgere "retainer, servant, disciple; successor," agent noun from follow. Related: Followers.
- following (n.)
- c.1300, verbal noun from follow (v.). Meaning "a body of disciples or retainers" is from mid-15c.
- folly (n.)
- early 13c., "mental weakness; unwise conduct" (in Middle English including wickedness, lewdness, madness), from Old French folie (12c.) "folly, madness, stupidity," from fol (see fool (n.)). Sense of "costly structure considered to have shown folly in the builder" is attested from 1650s. Used since Middle English of place names, especially country estates, as a form of Old French folie in its meaning "delight." Meaning "glamorous theatrical revue with lots of pretty girls" is from 1880, from French.
- bright star in the constellation Piscis Austrinis, 1594, from Arabic Fum al Hut "the Fish's Mouth," which describes its position in the imaginary star-picture.
- foment (v.)
- early 15c., "apply hot liquids," from Old French fomenter (13c.) "apply hot compress (to a wound)," from Late Latin fomentare, from Latin fomentum "warm application, poultice," contraction of *fovimentum, from fovere "to warm; cherish, encourage" (see fever). Extended sense of "stimulate, instigate" (1620s) was in the French. Related: Fomented; fomenting.
- fomentation (n.)
- c.1400, from Late Latin fomentationem, noun of action from past participle stem of fomentare, from Latin fomentum (see foment).
- pertaining to the monstrous race in Irish mythology, 1876, from Irish fomor "pirate, monster," from fo "under" + mor "sea." Cognate with Gaelic famhair.
- fond (adj.)
- mid-14c., originally "foolish, silly," from past tense of fonnen "to fool, be foolish," perhaps from Middle English fonne "fool" (early 14c.), of uncertain origin; or possibly related to fun.
Meaning evolved by 1590 via "foolishly tender" to "having strong affections for." Another sense of fonne was "to lose savor," which may be the original meaning of the word (as in Wyclif: "Gif þe salt be fonnyd it is not worþi," c.1380). Related: Fonder; fondest.
- fondant (n.)
- 1877, from French fondant, noun use of present participle of fondre "to melt" (see found (v.2)).
- fondle (v.)
- 1690s, "treat with indulgence and affection," frequentative of fond "dote upon" (see fond). Sense of "caress" first recorded 1796. Related: Fondled; fondling (1670s as a past participle adjective).
- fondly (adj.)
- mid-14c., "foolishly," from fond + -ly (2). Meaning "affectionately" is from 1590s.
- fondness (n.)
- late 14c., from fond + -ness.
- 1878, French cooking term (15c.), literally "melted," properly fem. past participle of fondre "to melt" (see found (v.2)).
- font (n.1)
- "basin," Old English font, from Latin fons (genitive fontis) "fountain" (see fountain), especially in Medieval Latin fons baptismalis "baptismal font."
- font (n.2)
- "typeface, set of letters of a particular type," 1680s, earlier "a casting" (1570s), from Middle French fonte "a casting," noun use of fem. past participle of fondre "to melt" (see found (v.2)). So called because all the letters in a given set were cast at the same time.
- fontanelle (n.)
- also fontanel, 1540s, "hollow between two muscles," from French fontanelle (16c.), from Old French fontenele "small source, fountain, spring; fontanelle," diminutive of fontaine "spring" (see fountain), on analogy of the dent in the earth where a spring arises. In reference to the "hollow" in a baby's skull, it is first recorded 1741.
- food (n.)
- Old English foda "food, nourishment; fuel," also figurative, from Proto-Germanic *fodon (cognates: Gothic fodeins), from Germanic root *fod-, equivalent of PIE *pa- "to tend, keep, pasture, to protect, to guard, to feed" (cognates: Greek pateisthai "to feed;" Latin pabulum "food, fodder," panis "bread," pasci "to feed," pascare "to graze, pasture, feed," pastor "shepherd," literally "feeder;" Avestan pitu- "food;" Old Church Slavonic pasti "feed cattle, pasture;" Russian pishcha "food").
Food chain is from 1917. Food poisoning attested by 1864; food processor in the kitchen appliance sense from 1973.
- foodie (n.)
- "gourmet," 1982, from food + -ie.
- foodstuff (n.)
- 1870, from food + stuff (n.). Related: Foodstuffs.
- fool (n.)
- late 13c., "silly or stupid person," from Old French fol "madman, insane person; idiot; rogue; jester," also "blacksmith's bellows," also an adjective meaning "mad, insane" (12c., Modern French fou), from Latin follis "bellows, leather bag" (see follicle); in Vulgar Latin used with a sense of "windbag, empty-headed person." Compare also Sanskrit vatula- "insane," literally "windy, inflated with wind."
The word has in mod.Eng. a much stronger sense than it had at an earlier period; it has now an implication of insulting contempt which does not in the same degree belong to any of its synonyms, or to the derivative foolish. [OED]
Meaning "jester, court clown" first attested late 14c., though it is not always possible to tell whether the reference is to a professional entertainer or an amusing lunatic on the payroll. As the name of a kind of custard dish, it is attested from 1590s (the food also was called trifle, which may be the source of the name).
There is no foole to the olde foole [Heywood, 1546]
Feast of Fools (early 14c.), from Medieval Latin festum stultorum) refers to the burlesque festival celebrated in some churches on New Year's Day in medieval times. Fool's gold "iron pyrite" is from 1829. Fool's paradise "state of illusory happiness" is from mid-15c. Foolosopher, a most useful insult, turns up in a 1549 translation of Erasmus. Fool's ballocks is described in OED as "an old name" for the green-winged orchid.
- fool (v.)
- mid-14c., "to be foolish, act the fool," from fool (n.). The meaning "to make a fool of" is recorded from 1590s. Also as a verb 16c.-17c. was foolify. Related: Fooled; fooling. Fool around is 1875 in the sense of "pass time idly," 1970s in sense of "have sexual adventures."