fane (n.) Look up fane at
"weathercock," late 14c., from Old English fana "flag, banner," from Proto-Germanic *fanon (cognates: Old Frisian fana, Gothic fana "piece of cloth," Old High German fano, German Fahne "flag, standard"); possibly cognate with Latin pannus "piece of cloth" (see pane).
fanfare (n.) Look up fanfare at
c. 1600, "a flourish sounded on a trumpet or bugle," from French fanfare "a sounding of trumpets" (16c.), from fanfarer "blow a fanfare" (16c.), perhaps echoic, or perhaps borrowed (with Spanish fanfarron "braggart," and Italian fanfano "babbler") from Arabic farfar "chatterer," of imitative origin. French fanfaron also came into English 1670s with a sense "boastful."
fang (n.) Look up fang at
Old English fang "prey, spoils, plunder, booty; a seizing or taking," from gefangen, strong past participle of fon "seize, take, capture," from Proto-Germanic *fango- (cognates: Old Frisian fangia, Middle Dutch and Dutch vangen, Old Norse fanga, German fangen, Gothic fahan), from PIE root *pag- "to make firm, fix;" connected to Latin pax (genitive pacis) "peace" (see pact).

The sense of "canine tooth" (1550s) was not in Middle English and probably developed from Old English fengtoð, literally "catching- or grasping-tooth." Compare German Fangzahn. Transferred to the venom tooth of a serpent, etc., by 1800.
fangled (adj.) Look up fangled at
1580s, "new-made," with implications of "foppish," from fangle (n.) "a new fancy, a novelty," based on newfangle "fond of novelty" (see newfangled).
Fannie Mae (n.) Look up Fannie Mae at
1948, from FNMA, acronym of "Federal National Mortgage Association," established 1938.
fanny (n.) Look up fanny at
"buttocks," 1920, American English, from earlier British meaning "vulva" (1879), perhaps from the name of John Cleland's heroine in the scandalous novel "Fanny Hill or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure" (1748). The fem. proper name is a diminutive of Frances. The genital sense is still the primary one outside U.S., but is not current in American English, a difference which can have consequences when U.S. TV programs and movies air in Britain.
fantabulous (adj.) Look up fantabulous at
1957, creative merger of fantastic and fabulous.
fantail (n.) Look up fantail at
1728, "a tail shaped like a fan," from fan (n.1) + tail (n.1). Specifically of birds from 1848.
fantasia (n.) Look up fantasia at
"musical composition that sounds extemporaneous," 1724, from Italian fantasia, from Latin phantasia (see fantasy).
fantasise (v.) Look up fantasise at
artificial British English spelling of fantasize, not much attested before 1970s. For suffix, see -ize. Related: Fantasised; fantasising.
fantasize (v.) Look up fantasize at
1926, from fantasy + -ize. Related: Fantasized; fantasizing. An earlier verb was fantasticate (c. 1600).
fantastic (adj.) Look up fantastic at
late 14c., "existing only in imagination," from Middle French fantastique (14c.), from Medieval Latin fantasticus, from Late Latin phantasticus "imaginary," from Greek phantastikos "able to imagine," from phantazein "make visible" (middle voice phantazesthai "picture to oneself"); see phantasm. Trivial sense of "wonderful, marvelous" recorded by 1938. Old French had a different adjective form, fantasieus "weird; insane; make-believe." Medieval Latin also used fantasticus as a noun, "a lunatic," and Shakespeare and his contemporaries had it in Italian form fantastico "one who acts ridiculously."
fantastical (adj.) Look up fantastical at
late 15c., from fantastic + -al (1). Related: Fantastically.
fantasy (n.) Look up fantasy at
early 14c., "illusory appearance," from Old French fantaisie, phantasie "vision, imagination" (14c.), from Latin phantasia, from Greek phantasia "power of imagination; appearance, image, perception," from phantazesthai "picture to oneself," from phantos "visible," from phainesthai "appear," in late Greek "to imagine, have visions," related to phaos, phos "light," phainein "to show, to bring to light" (see phantasm). Sense of "whimsical notion, illusion" is pre-1400, followed by that of "fantastic imagination," which is first attested 1530s. Sense of "day-dream based on desires" is from 1926. In early use in English also fantasie, phantasy, etc. As the name of a fiction genre, from 1949.
fantods (n.) Look up fantods at
1835, jocular formation, perhaps based on fantasy.
There is an indescribable complaint, which will never allow a moment's repose to mind or body; which nothing will satisfy--which allows of no beginning, and no ending--which wheels round the mind like the squirrel in its cage, ever moving, but still making no progress. It is called the Fantods. From the diagnostics, we pronounce Lord Brougham incurably diseased with the Fantods. ["The Metropolitan," London, October 1835]
fantom (n.) Look up fantom at
obsolete form of phantom.
fanzine (n.) Look up fanzine at
1949, from fan (n.2) + suffix abstracted from magazine.
fap (v.) Look up fap at
"masturbate" (also the sound of it), slang, by 2001, echoic. Earlier, "drunk" (late 16c.). Related: Fapped; fapping.
FAQ (n.) Look up FAQ at
acronym from frequently asked questions, by 1990.
faqir (n.) Look up faqir at
see fakir.
far (adj.) Look up far at
Old English feorr "far, remote, distant" (cognates: Old Saxon fer, Old Frisian fer, Old Norse fjarre, Dutch ver, Old High German ferro, German fern), probably a development in western Proto-Germanic from the adverb (see far (adv.)). Far East "China, Japan, and surrounding regions" is from 1838.
far (adv.) Look up far at
Old English feor "to a great distance, long ago," from Proto-Germanic *ferro (cognates: Old Saxon fer, Old Frisian fir, Old Norse fiarre, Old High German fer, Gothic fairra), from PIE *per (1), base of words for "through, forward," with extended senses such as "across, beyond" (cognates: Sanskrit parah "farther, remote, ulterior," Hittite para "outside of," Greek pera "across, beyond," Latin per "through," Old Irish ire "farther"). Paired with wide since 9c.
far-away (adj.) Look up far-away at
also faraway, "distant, remote," 1816, from far + away.
far-fetched (adj.) Look up far-fetched at
also far fetched, farfetched, 1560s, "brought from afar," from far (adv.) + past participle of fetch (v.). An earlier form was far fet (1530s). Figurative sense is from c. 1600.
far-flung (adj.) Look up far-flung at
1828, mainly in poetry, from far (adv.) + past tense of fling (v.).
far-off (adj.) Look up far-off at
also faroff, "distant, remote," 1590s, from adverbial phrase, from far (adv.) + off (adv.).
far-out (adj.) Look up far-out at
also far out, 1887, "remote, distant;" from adverbial phrase, from far (adv.) + out (adv.). Slang sense of "excellent, wonderful," is from 1954, originally in jazz talk.
far-reaching (adj.) Look up far-reaching at
1808, from far (adv.) + present participle of reach (v.).
far-sighted (adj.) Look up far-sighted at
also farsighted, 1640s, "forecasting, prescient;" 1878 in reference to a defect of the eyes (hypermetropic); see far (adv.) + sight (v.). Related: Farsightedness.
farad (n.) Look up farad at
unit of electric capacity, suggested 1861, first used 1868, named for English physicist Michael Faraday (1791-1867). Related: Faradic.
farang (n.) Look up farang at
in Thai, "white person," 1861, ultimately from Frank (see Feringhee).
farce (n.) Look up farce at
late 14c., "force-meat, stuffing;" 1520s, in the dramatic sense "ludicrous satire; low comedy," from Middle French farce "comic interlude in a mystery play" (16c.), literally "stuffing," from Old French farcir "to stuff," (13c.), from Latin farcire "to stuff, cram," which is of uncertain origin, perhaps from PIE *bhrekw- "to cram together," and thus related to frequens "crowded."
... for a farce is that in poetry which grotesque is in a picture. The persons and action of a farce are all unnatural, and the manners false, that is, inconsisting with the characters of mankind. [Dryden, "A Parallel of Poetry and Painting"]
According to OED and other sources, the pseudo-Latin farsia was applied 13c. in France and England to praise phrases inserted into liturgical formulae (for example between kyrie and eleison) at the principal festivals, then in Old French farce was extended to the impromptu buffoonery among actors that was a feature of religious stage plays. Generalized sense of "a ridiculous sham" is from 1690s in English.
farcical (adj.) Look up farcical at
1716, from farce + -ical, perhaps on the model of comical. Related: Farcically.
fardel (n.) Look up fardel at
"bundle, burden," c. 1300, from Old French fardel "parcel, package, small pack" (13c., Modern French fardeau), diminutive of farde, which OED says is "cognate with" (others say "from") Spanish fardo "pack, bundle," which is said to be from Arabic fardah "package."
fare (n.) Look up fare at
Old English fær "journey, road, passage, expedition," from strong neuter of faran "to journey" (see fare (v.)); merged with faru "journey, expedition, companions, baggage," strong fem. of faran. Original sense is obsolete, except in compounds (wayfarer, sea-faring, etc.) Meaning "food provided" is c. 1200 (Old English also had the word in the sense "means of subsistence"); that of "conveyance" appears in Scottish early 15c. and led to sense of "payment for passage" (1510s). Meaning "person conveyed in a vehicle" is from 1560s.
fare (v.) Look up fare at
Old English faran "to journey, set forth, go, travel, wander, make one's way," also "be, happen, exist; be in a particular condition," from Proto-Germanic *faran "to go" (cognates: Old Saxon, Old High German, Gothic faran, Old Norse and Old Frisian fara, Dutch varen, German fahren), from PIE *por- "going, passage," from root *per- (2) "to lead, pass over" (see port (n.1)). Related: Fared; faring.
farewell (interj.) Look up farewell at
expression at parting, late 14c., from Middle English faren wel, verbal phrase attested by c. 1200 (see fare (v.) + well (adv.)); usually said to the departing person, who replied with good-bye. As a noun, "a good-bye, a leave-taking," by early 15c. Expression to a fare-thee-well "to the last degree" is by 1884, American English.
farina (n.) Look up farina at
1707, "dust, powdery substance," from Latin farina "ground wheat, flour, meal," from far (genitive farris) "grits, spelt, a kind of grain" (see barley).
farinaceous (adj.) Look up farinaceous at
"of or pertaining to flour or meal," 1640s, from Late Latin farinaceus, from Latin farina "flour, meal" (see farina).
farm (n.) Look up farm at
c. 1300, "fixed payment (usually in exchange for taxes collected, etc.), fixed rent," from Old French ferme "a rent, lease" (13c.), from Medieval Latin firma "fixed payment," from Latin firmare "to fix, settle, confirm, strengthen," from firmus "strong; stable," figuratively "constant, trusty" (see firm (adj.)).

Sense of "tract of leased land" is first recorded early 14c.; that of "cultivated land" (leased or not) is 1520s. A word of confused history, but there is agreement that "the purely agricultural sense is comparatively modern" [Century Dictionary]. There is a set of Old English words that appear to be related in sound and sense; if these, too, are from Latin it would be a very early borrowing. Some books strenuously defend a theory that the Anglo-Saxon words are original (perhaps related to feorh "life").

Phrase buy the farm "die in battle," is at least from World War II, perhaps a cynical reference to the draftee's dream of getting out of the war and going home, in many cases to a peaceful farmstead. But fetch the farm is prisoner slang from at least 1879 for "get sent to the infirmary," with reference to the better diet and lighter duties there.
farm (v.) Look up farm at
mid-15c., "to rent (land)," from Anglo-French fermer, from ferme "a rent, lease" (see farm (n.)). The agricultural sense is from 1719. Original sense is retained in to farm out.
farm-hand (n.) Look up farm-hand at
also farmhand, "hired laborer on a farm," by 1835, from farm (n.) + hand (n.) in the "hired workman" sense.
farm-house (n.) Look up farm-house at
also farmhouse, "principal dwelling-house of a farm," 1590s, from farm (n.) + house (n.).
farmer (n.) Look up farmer at
late 14c., "one who collects taxes, etc.," from Anglo-French fermer, Old French fermier "lease-holder," from Medieval Latin firmarius, from firma "fixed payment" (see farm (n.)). In the agricultural sense, 1590s, replacing native churl and husbandman.
farming (n.) Look up farming at
1590s, "action of farming out, practice of letting or leasing taxes, etc., for collection," verbal noun from farm (v.). Meaning "business of cultivating land, husbandry" is attested by 1733.
farmland (n.) Look up farmland at
mid-14c., from farm (n.) + land (n.).
farmstead (n.) Look up farmstead at
"collection of buildings belonging to a farm," 1785, from farm (n.) + stead (n.).
faro (n.) Look up faro at
18th century gambling game with cards, 1726, sometimes said to be altered from pharaoh, perhaps his image was on one of the cards, but early descriptions of the game give no indication of this and it seems to have been played with a standard deck.
Faroese (n.) Look up Faroese at
also Faeroese, 1816, from the Faroe islands, at the ends of the North Sea, literally "sheep-islands," from Faroese Føroyar, from før "sheep" + oy (plural oyar) "island."
Farquhar Look up Farquhar at
surname attested from late 12c., from Gaelic fearchar "very dear one."