- Irish surname, from Irish Fearghail "man of valor."
- farrier (n.)
- 1560s, "one who shoes horses," from Middle French ferrier "blacksmith," from Latin ferrarius "blacksmith," noun use of adjective meaning "of iron," from ferrum "iron" (in Medieval Latin, also "horseshoe"); see ferro-. An earlier form of it in English was ferrer, ferrour "ironsmith" (late 12c. as a surname), from Old French ferreor, from Medieval Latin ferrator "blacksmith."
- farrow (n.)
- Old English fearh "young pig," from Proto-Germanic *farkhaz "young pig" (cognates: Middle Low German ferken, Dutch varken, both diminutives; Old High German farh, German Ferkel "young pig, suckling pig"), from PIE *porko- (see pork (n.)). Sense of "a litter of pigs" first recorded 1570s, probably via the verb ("to bring forth piglets," of a sow), which is attested from early 13c.
- Farsi (n.)
- "the modern Persian language," 1878, from the usual Iranian word for it, from Fars, the Arabic form of Pars (no "p" in Arabic), the name of a region in southwestern Iran, where the modern language evolved from Persian (an Indo-European language), to which many Arabic (Semitic) elements have been added.
- fart (v.)
- Old English feortan, ultimately from PIE *perd- (cognates: Old High German ferzan, Old Norse freta, Danish fjerte, Sanskrit pard, Greek perdein, Lithuanian perdzu, Russian perdet), of imitative origin. Related: Farted; farting. As a noun, from late 14c.
Clatterer or clatterfart, which wyl disclose anye light secreate. [Richard Huloet, "Abecedarium Anglo-Latinum," 1552]
- farther (adj.)
- late 14c., "front;" variant of further (adj.). From 1510s as "additional;" 1560s as "more remote."
- farther (adv.)
- 15c. alteration of Middle English ferther (c.1300), a variant of further (adv.). There is no historical basis for the notion that farther is of physical distance and further of degree or quality.
- farthest (adj.)
- "most distant or remote," late 14c., superlative of far.
- farthing (n.)
- Old English feorðing (Old Northumbrian feorðung) "quarter of a penny; a fourth part," a diminutive derivative of feorða "fourth" (from feower "four;" see four) + -ing "fractional part." Cognate with Old Frisian fiardeng, Middle Low German verdink, Old Norse fjorðungr, Old Danish fjerdung "a fourth part of anything."
In late Old English also a division of land, probably originally a quarter of a hide. The modern English coin first was minted under Edward I and abolished 1961. The word was used in biblical translations for Latin quadrans "quarter of a denarius."
I shall geat a fart of a dead man as soone As a farthyng of him. [Heywood, "Proverbs," 1562]
- farthingale (n.)
- contrivance for extending the skirts of women's dresses, formerly also vardingale, etc., 1550s, from Middle French verdugale, from Spanish verdugado "hooped, hooped skirt," from verdugo "rod, stick, young shoot of a tree," from verde "green," from Latin viridis (see verdure). Originally made with cane hoops or rods. The form perhaps influenced by martingale.
- fartlek (n.)
- 1952, Swedish, from fart "speed" (cognate with Old Norse fara "to go, move;" see fare (v.)) + lek "play" (cognate with Old Norse leika "play;" see lark (v.)).
- fasces (n.)
- 1590s, from Latin fasces "bundle of rods containing an axe with the blade projecting" (plural of fascis "bundle" of wood, etc.), from Proto-Italic *faski- "bundle," perhaps from PIE *bhasko- "band, bundle" (cognates: Middle Irish basc "neckband," Welsh baich "load, burden," perhaps also Old English bæst "inner bark of the linden tree"). Carried before a lictor, a superior Roman magistrate, as a symbol of power over life and limb: the sticks symbolized punishment by whipping, the axe-head execution by beheading. Hence in Latin it also meant, figuratively, "high office, supreme power."
- fascia (n.)
- 1560s, from Latin fascia "a band, bandage, swathe, ribbon," derivative of fascis "bundle" (see fasces). In English, originally in architecture; anatomical use is from 1788. Also used in botany, music, astronomy. Related: Fascial; fasciation.
- fascicle (n.)
- "a bunch, bundle, small collection," 1620s, from Latin fasciculus "a small bundle, a bunch (of flowers); small collection (of letters, books, etc.)," diminutive of fascis (see fasces). As "part of a work published in installments," 1640s (also fascicule, from French). Related: Fasciculate; fasciculation; fascicular; fascicularly; fasciculated.
- fasciitis (n.)
- 1893, from fascia + -itis.
- fascinate (v.)
- 1590s, "bewitch, enchant," from Middle French fasciner (14c.), from Latin fascinatus, past participle of fascinare "bewitch, enchant, fascinate," from fascinus "a charm, enchantment, spell, witchcraft," of uncertain origin. Earliest used of witches and of serpents, who were said to be able to cast a spell by a look that rendered one unable to move or resist. Sense of "delight, attract and hold the attention of" is first recorded 1815.
To fascinate is to bring under a spell, as by the power of the eye; to enchant and to charm are to bring under a spell by some more subtle and mysterious power. [Century Dictionary]
Possibly from Greek baskanos "slander, envy, malice," later "witchcraft, sorcerery," with form influenced by Latin fari "speak" (see fame (n.)), but others say the resemblance of the Latin and Greek words is accidental. The Greek word might be from a Thracian equivalent of Greek phaskein "to say;" compare enchant, and German besprechen "to charm," from sprechen "to speak." Watkins suggests the Latin word is perhaps from PIE *bhasko- "band, bundle" via a connecting sense of "amulet in the form of a phallus" (compare Latin fascinum "human penis; artificial phallus; dildo"). Related: Fascinated; fascinating.
If [baskanos] and fascinum are indeed related, they would point to a meaning 'curse, spell' in a loanword from an unknown third language. [de Vaan]
- fascinating (adj.)
- "bewitching, charming," 1640s, present-participle adjective from fascinate). Related: Fascinatingly.
- fascination (n.)
- c.1600, "act of bewitching," from Latin fascinationem (nominative fascinatio), noun of action from past participle stem of fascinare "bewitch, enchant" (see fascinate). Meaning "state of being fascinated" is from 1650s; that of "fascinating quality, attractive influence upon the attention" is from 1690s.
- fascine (n.)
- "bundle used in fortification or as fuel for fire," 1680s, from French fascine, from Latin fascina, from fascis "bundle" (see fasces).
- fascinous (adj.)
- "caused by witchcraft," 1660s, from Latin fascinum "charm, enchantment, witchcraft" (see fascinate) + -ous.
- fascism (n.)
- 1922, originally used in English in 1920 in its Italian form fascismo (see fascist). Applied to similar groups in Germany from 1923; applied to everyone since the Internet.
A form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion. [Robert O. Paxton, "The Anatomy of Fascism," 2004]
- fascist (adj.)
- 1921, from Italian partito nazionale fascista, the anti-communist political movement organized 1919 under Benito Mussolini (1883-1945); from Italian fascio "group, association," literally "bundle" (see fasces). Fasci "groups of men organized for political purposes" had been a feature of Sicily since c.1895, and the 20c. totalitarian sense probably came directly from this but was influenced by the historical Roman fasces, which became the party symbol. As a noun from 1922 in English, earlier in Italian plural fascisti (1921), and until 1923 in English it often appeared in its Italian form, as an Italian word.
[Fowler: "Whether this full anglicization of the words is worth while cannot be decided till we know whether the things are to be temporary or permanent in England" -- probably an addition to the 1930 reprint, retained in 1944 U.S. edition.] Related: Fascistic.
- fascitis (n.)
- see fasciitis.
- fash (v.)
- 1530s (Scottish) "to trouble, annoy, vex;" 1580s, "be angered," from Old French fascher (Modern French fâcher) "to anger, displease, offend," from Medieval Latin derived verb from Latin fastidiosus (see fastidious). As a noun from 1794. Related: Fashery (1550s).
- fashion (n.)
- c.1300, fasoun, "physical make-up or composition; form, shape; appearance," from Old French façon, fachon, fazon "face, appearance; construction, pattern, design; thing done; beauty; manner, characteristic feature" (12c.), from Latin factionem (nominative factio) "a making or doing, a preparing," also "group of people acting together," from facere "to make" (see factitious).
Especially "style, manner" of make, dress, or embellishment (late 14c.); hence "prevailing custom; mode of dress and adornment prevailing in a place and time" (late 15c.). Meaning "good style, conformity to fashionable society's tastes" is from 1630s.
To call a fashion wearable is the kiss of death. No new fashion worth its salt is wearable. [Eugenia Sheppard, "New York Herald Tribune," Jan. 13, 1960]
In Middle English also spelled faschyoun, facune, faction, etc. Fashion plate (1851) originally was "full-page picture in a popular magazine showing the prevailing or latest style of dress," in reference to the typographic plate from which it was printed. Transferred sense of "well-dressed person" had emerged by 1920s. After a fashion "to a certain extent" is from 1530s. Shakespeare (c.1600) has both in fashion and out of fashion.
- fashion (v.)
- "to form, give shape to," early 15c.; see fashion (n.). Related: Fashioned; fashioning.
- fashionable (adj.)
- c.1600, "capable of being fashioned," also "conforming to prevailing tastes," from fashion + -able. From 1620s as "stylish;" as a noun, "person of fashion," from 1800. Related: Fashionably.
- fashionista (n.)
- by 1996, from fashion + -ista (see -ist). In the same sense were fashionist ("obsequious follower of modes and fashions," 1610s, alive as late as 1850); fashion-monger (1590s); fashion-fly (1868).
- fashious (adj.)
- 1530s, from vernacular French fâcheux, from fastidieux (see fastidious).
- fast (adj.)
- Old English fæst "firmly fixed, steadfast, constant; secure; enclosed, watertight; strong, fortified," probably from Proto-Germanic *fastu- "firm, fast" (cognates: Old Frisian fest, Old Norse fastr, Dutch vast, German fest), from PIE root *past- "firm, solid" (source of Sanskrit pastyam "dwelling place").
Meaning "rapid, quick" is from 1550s, from the adverb (q.v.). Of colors, from 1650s; of clocks, from 1840. The sense of "living an unrestrained life, eager in pursuit of pleasure" (usually of women) is from 1746 (fast living is from 1745). Fast buck recorded from 1947; fast food is first attested 1951. Fast lane is by 1966; the fast track originally was in horse-racing (1934), one that permits maximum speed; figurative sense by 1960s. Fast-forward is by 1948, originally of audio tape.
- fast (v.)
- "abstain from food," Old English fæstan "to fast" (as a religious duty), also "to make firm; establish, confirm, pledge," from Proto-Germanic *fasten "to hold fast, observe abstinence" (cognates: Old Frisian festia, Old High German fasten, German fasten, Old Norse fasta "abstain from food"), from the same root as fast (adj.).
The original meaning in prehistoric Germanic was "hold firmly," and the sense evolved via "have firm control of oneself," to "hold oneself to observance" (compare Gothic fastan "to keep, observe," also "to fast"). Perhaps the Germanic sense shifted through use of the native words to translate Medieval Latin observare in its sense "to fast." The verb in the sense "to make fast" continued in Middle English, but was superseded by fasten. Related: Fasted; fasting.
- fast (n.)
- "act of fasting," late Old English fæsten "voluntary abstinence from food and drink or from certain kinds of food," especially, but not necessarily, as a religious duty; either from the verb in Old English or from Old Norse fasta "a fast, fasting, season for fasting," from a Proto-Germanic noun formed from the verbal root of fast (v.). In earlier Old English fæsten meant "fortress, cloister, enclosure, prison."
- fast (adv.)
- Old English fæste "firmly, securely; strictly;" also, perhaps, "speedily," from Proto-Germanic *fasto (cognates: Old Saxon fasto, Old Frisian feste, Dutch vast, Old High German fasto, German fast "firmly, immovably, strongly, very"), from *fastu- (adj.) "firm, fast" (see fast (adj.)).
The meaning "quickly, swiftly, rapidly" was perhaps in Old English, certainly by c.1200, probably from or developed under influence of Old Norse fast "firmly, fast." This sense developed, apparently in Scandinavian, from that of "firmly, strongly, vigorously" (to run hard means the same as to run fast; also compare fast asleep, also compare Old Norse drekka fast "to drink hard," telja fast "to give (someone) a severe lesson"). Or perhaps from the notion of a runner who "sticks" close to whatever he is chasing (compare Old Danish fast "much, swiftly, at once, near to, almost," and sense evolution of German fix "fast, fixed; fast, quick, nimble," from Latin fixus). The expression fast by "near, close, beside" also is said to be from Scandinavian. To fast talk someone (v.) is recorded by 1946.
- fast and loose
- described as "a cheating game played with a stick and a belt or string, so arranged that a spectator would think he could make the latter fast by placing a stick through its intricate folds, whereas the operator could detach it at once." [James O. Halliwell, "Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words," 1847]. The figurative sense (1550s) is recorded earlier than the literal (1570s).
- fasten (v.)
- Old English fæstnian "make fast, make firm, fix, secure," also "ratify, betroth, confirm," from Proto-Germanic *fastinon "to make firm or fast" (cognates: Old Frisian festnia "to make firm, bind fast," Old Saxon fastnon, Old High German fastnion, German festnen, Old Norse fastna "to pledge, betroth"), from PIE *fast "solid, firm" (see fast (adj.)). Related: Fastened; fastening.
- fastener (n.)
- 1755, "one who fastens," agent noun from fasten (v.). From 1792 of mechanical devices (for clothing, etc.).
- faster (n.)
- "one who fasts," c.1300, agent noun from fast (v.).
- fastidious (adj.)
- mid-15c., "full of pride," from Latin fastidiosus "disdainful, squeamish, exacting," from fastidium "loathing, squeamishness; dislike, aversion; excessive nicety," of uncertain origin; perhaps from *fastu-taidiom, a compound of fastus "contempt, arrogance, pride," and taedium "aversion, disgust." Fastus is possibly from PIE *bhars- (1) "projection, bristle, point," on the notion of "prickliness" (Watkins) or "a semantic shift from 'top' to 'haughtiness' which is conceivable, but the
u-stem is not attested independently" [de Vaan], who adds that "fastidium would be a tautology." Early use in English was both in passive and active senses. Meaning "squeamish, over-nice" in English emerged 1610s. Related: Fastidiously; fastidiousness.
- fastly (adv.)
- "quickly," c.1200, former adverbial cousin to fast (adj.), from Old English fæstlic "firmly, fixedly, steadfastly, resolutely;" obsolete in 19c., simple fast taking its place.
- fastness (n.)
- "a place not easily forced, a stronghold," late Old English fæstnes "firmness, strongness, massiveness, stability; the firmament," from fast (adj.) in its older sense of "firm, fixed in place" + -ness.
- fat (adj.)
- Old English fætt "fat, fatted, plump, obese," originally a contracted past participle of fættian "to cram, stuff," from Proto-Germanic *faitjan "to fatten," from *faita- "plump, fat" (cognates: Old Frisian fatt, Old Norse feitr, Dutch vet, German feist "fat"), from PIE *poid- "to abound in water, milk, fat, etc." (source also of Greek piduein "to gush forth"), from root *peie- "to be fat, swell" (cognates: Sanskrit payate "swells, exuberates," pituh "juice, sap, resin;" Lithuanian pienas "milk;" Greek pion "fat, wealthy;" Latin pinguis "fat").
Meaning "abounding in comforts, prosperous" is late 14c. Teen slang meaning "attractive, up to date" (also later phat) is attested from 1951. Fat cat "privileged and rich person" is from 1928; fat chance "no chance at all" attested from 1905, perhaps ironic (the expression is found earlier in the sense "good opportunity"). Fathead is from 1842; fat-witted is from 1590s; fatso is first recorded 1943. Expression the fat is in the fire originally meant "the plan has failed" (1560s).
- fat (n.)
- "fat part of anything," mid-14c., from fat (v.). Cognate with Dutch vet, German Fett, Swedish fett, Danish fedt. As a component of animal bodies, 1530s. Figurative sense of "best or most rewarding part" is from 1560s. Expression the fat is in the fire originally meant "the plan has failed" (1560s).
- fat (v.)
- Old English fættian "to become fat, fatten," from the source of fat (adj.). Replaced by fatten except in Biblical fatted calf.
- fat-back (n.)
- also fatback, cut of pork, 1903, from fat + back (n.). So called because taken from the back of the animal.
- Fata Morgana (n.)
- 1818, literally "Fairy Morgana," mirage especially common in the Strait of Messina, Italy, from Morgana, the "Morgan le Fay" of Anglo-French poetry, sister of King Arthur, located in Calabria by Norman settlers. Morgan is Welsh, "sea-dweller." There is perhaps, too, here an influence of Arabic marjan, literally "pearl," also a fem. proper name, popularly the name of a sorceress.
- fatal (adj.)
- late 14c., "decreed by fate," also "fraught with fate," from Middle French fatal (14c.) and directly from Latin fatalis "ordained by fate, decreed, destined; destructive, deadly," from fatum (see fate (n.)); sense of "causing or attended with death" in English is from early 15c. Meaning "concerned with or dealing with destiny" is from mid-15c.
- fatalism (n.)
- 1670s as a philosophical doctrine that all things are determined by fate, from fatal + -ism. Meaning "disposition to accept all conditions and events as inevitable" is from 1734.
- fatalist (n.)
- 1640s, adherent of the philosophical doctrine that all things are determined by fate; from fatal + -ist. General sense of "one who accepts every condition and event as inevitable" is from 1734.
- fatalistic (adj.)
- "savoring of fatalism," 1757, from fatalist + -ic.
- fatality (n.)
- late 15c., "quality of causing death," from French fatalité, from Late Latin fatalitatem (nominative fatalitas) "fatal necessity, fatality," from Latin fatalis "ordained by fate; destructive, deadly" (see fatal). Senses in 16c.-17c. included "determined by fate" and "a destiny." Meaning "an occurrence resulting in widespread death" is from 1840. Related: Fatalities.