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    fantasy (n.) — fatherhood (n.)

    fantasy (n.)

    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, phōs "light," phainein "to show, to bring to light" (from PIE root *bha- (1) "to shine").ETD fantasy (n.).2

    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, by 1948.ETD fantasy (n.).3

    fantasia (n.)

    "musical composition that sounds extemporaneous," 1724, from Italian fantasia, from Latin phantasia (see fantasy).ETD fantasia (n.).2

    fantasise (v.)

    artificial British English spelling of fantasize, not much attested before 1970s. For suffix, see -ize. Related: Fantasised; fantasising.ETD fantasise (v.).2

    fantastic (adj.)

    late 14c., "existing only in imagination, produced by (mental) fantasy," from Old 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."ETD fantastic (adj.).2

    fantastical (adj.)

    late 15c., from fantastic + -al (1). Related: Fantastically.ETD fantastical (adj.).2

    fantods (n.)

    1835, jocular formation, perhaps based on fantasy.ETD fantods (n.).2

    fantom (n.)

    obsolete form of phantom.ETD fantom (n.).2

    fanzine (n.)

    1949, from fan (n.2) + suffix abstracted from magazine.ETD fanzine (n.).2

    fap (v.)

    "masturbate" (also the sound of it), slang, by 2001, echoic. Earlier, "drunk" (late 16c.). Related: Fapped; fapping.ETD fap (v.).2

    FAQ (n.)

    acronym from frequently asked questions, by 1990.ETD FAQ (n.).2

    faqir (n.)

    see fakir.ETD faqir (n.).2

    far (adj.)

    Middle English fer, from Old English feorr "far, remote, distant," from Proto-Germanic *ferera- (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.ETD far (adj.).2

    far (adv.)

    Middle English fer, from Old English feor "to a great distance, long ago," from Proto-Germanic *ferro (source also of Old Saxon fer, Old Frisian fir, Old Norse fiarre, Old High German fer, Gothic fairra), from PIE root *per- (1), base of words for "through, forward," with extended senses such as "across, beyond" (source also of Sanskrit parah "farther, remote, ulterior," Hittite para "outside of," Greek pera "across, beyond," Latin per "through," Old Irish ire "farther"). For vowel change, see dark (adj.). Paired with wide to mean "everywhere" since 9c.ETD far (adv.).2

    farad (n.)

    unit of electric capacity, suggested 1861, first used 1868, named for English physicist Michael Faraday (1791-1867). Related: Faradic.ETD farad (n.).2

    farang (n.)

    in Thai, "white person," 1861, ultimately from Frank (see Feringhee).ETD farang (n.).2

    far-away (adj.)

    also faraway, "distant, remote," 1816, from far + away.ETD far-away (adj.).2

    farce (n.)

    late 14c., "force-meat, stuffing;" 1520s, in the dramatic sense "ludicrous satire; low comedy," from 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."ETD farce (n.).2

    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.ETD farce (n.).3

    farcical (adj.)

    1716, from farce + -ical, perhaps on the model of comical. Related: Farcically.ETD farcical (adj.).2

    fardel (n.)

    "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."ETD fardel (n.).2

    fare (v.)

    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 *faranan "to go" (source also of 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." Related: Fared; faring.ETD fare (v.).2

    fare (n.)

    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.ETD fare (n.).2

    farewell (interj.)

    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.ETD farewell (interj.).2

    far-fetched (adj.)

    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.ETD far-fetched (adj.).2

    far-flung (adj.)

    1828, mainly in poetry, from far (adv.) + past tense of fling (v.).ETD far-flung (adj.).2

    farina (n.)

    1707, "dust, powdery substance," from Latin farina "ground wheat, flour, meal," from far (genitive farris) "husked wheat, emmer; grain, flour," from Proto-Italic *fars "flour," from PIE *bhars-, with cognates in Old Irish bairgen "bread, loaf," Welsh bara "bread," Serbo-Croatian brašno "flour, food," Latvian bariba "food," Gothic barizeins "from barley," Old Norse barr "grain," Old English bere "barley;" according to de Vaan perhaps a loan-word from a non-IE language.ETD farina (n.).2

    farinaceous (adj.)

    "of or pertaining to flour or meal," 1640s, from Late Latin farinaceus, from Latin farina "flour, meal" (see farina).ETD farinaceous (adj.).2


    word-forming element, from Latin -farius, -fariam "in (so many) parts," as in bifariam "in two parts or places, in two ways;" multifariam "in many places," an element of disputed origin. Watkins suggests it is from PIE *dwi-dhe- "making two," from roots *dwi- "two" + *dhe- "to put, set." It also has been derived from Latin fari "to say" (as in nefarious), but de Vaan writes that "the alleged semantic development to 'in n ways' is obscure," and he points to the suggestion of a PIE *-dho-, with cognates in Sanskrit dvidha (adv.) "twofold;" tridha "threefold."ETD -farious.2

    farm (v.)

    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.ETD farm (v.).2

    farm (n.)

    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" (from suffixed form of PIE root *dher- "to hold firmly, support").ETD farm (n.).2

    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").ETD farm (n.).3

    Phrase buy the farm "die in battle," is from at least 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. The simple term buy it as slang for "suffer a mishap," especially "to die" is attested by 1825, and seems to have been picked up in airmen's jargon. Meanwhile 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.ETD farm (n.).4

    farmer (n.)

    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.ETD farmer (n.).2

    farm-hand (n.)

    also farmhand, "hired laborer on a farm," by 1835, from farm (n.) + hand (n.) in the "hired workman" sense.ETD farm-hand (n.).2

    farm-house (n.)

    also farmhouse, "principal dwelling-house of a farm," 1590s, from farm (n.) + house (n.).ETD farm-house (n.).2

    farmland (n.)

    mid-14c., from farm (n.) + land (n.).ETD farmland (n.).2

    farmstead (n.)

    "collection of buildings belonging to a farm," 1785, from farm (n.) + stead (n.).ETD farmstead (n.).2

    faro (n.)

    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.ETD faro (n.).2

    Faroese (n.)

    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."ETD Faroese (n.).2

    far-off (adj.)

    also faroff, "distant, remote," 1590s, from adverbial phrase, from far (adv.) + off (adv.).ETD far-off (adj.).2

    far-out (adj.)

    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.ETD far-out (adj.).2


    surname attested from late 12c., from Gaelic fearchar "very dear one."ETD Farquhar.2

    farrago (n.)

    "hodgepodge, a confused mix," 1630s, from Latin farrago "medley, mixed fodder, mix of grains for animal feed," from far "grain" (see farina).ETD farrago (n.).2

    far-reaching (adj.)

    1808, from far (adv.) + present participle of reach (v.).ETD far-reaching (adj.).2


    Irish surname, from Irish Fearghail "man of valor."ETD Farrell.2

    farrier (n.)

    1560s, "one who shoes horses," from 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."ETD farrier (n.).2

    farrow (n.)

    Old English fearh "young pig," from Proto-Germanic *farkhaz "young pig" (source also of Middle Low German ferken, Dutch varken, both diminutives; Old High German farh, German Ferkel "young pig, suckling pig," and the second element in aardvark), from PIE root *porko- "young pig." 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.ETD farrow (n.).2

    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.ETD Farsi (n.).2

    far-sighted (adj.)

    also farsighted, 1640s, "forecasting, prescient;" 1878 in reference to a defect of the eyes (hypermetropic); see far (adv.) + sight (v.). Related: Farsightedness.ETD far-sighted (adj.).2

    fart (v.)

    Old English feortan, ultimately from PIE *perd- (source also of Old High German ferzan, Old Norse freta, Danish fjerte, Sanskrit pard, Greek perdein, Lithuanian perdžiu, persti, Russian perdet), of imitative origin. Related: Farted; farting. As a noun, from late 14c.ETD fart (v.).2

    farthing (n.)

    Old English feorðing (Old Northumbrian feorðung) "quarter of a penny; a fourth part," a diminutive derivative of feorða "fourth" (from feower "four;" from PIE root *kwetwer- "four") + -ing "fractional part." Cognate with Old Frisian fiardeng, Middle Low German verdink, Old Norse fjorðungr, Old Danish fjerdung "a fourth part of anything."ETD farthing (n.).2

    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."ETD farthing (n.).3

    farther (adj.)

    late 14c., "front;" variant of further (adj.). From 1510s as "additional;" 1560s as "more remote."ETD farther (adj.).2

    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.ETD farther (adv.).2

    farthest (adj.)

    "most distant or remote," late 14c., superlative of far.ETD farthest (adj.).2

    farthingale (n.)

    contrivance for extending the skirts of women's dresses, formerly also vardingale, etc., 1550s, from 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.ETD farthingale (n.).2

    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.)).ETD fartlek (n.).2

    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" (source also of 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."ETD fasces (n.).2

    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.ETD fascia (n.).2

    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.ETD fascicle (n.).2

    fasciitis (n.)

    1893, from fascia + -itis "inflammation."ETD fasciitis (n.).2

    fascinous (adj.)

    "caused by witchcraft," 1660s, from Latin fascinum "charm, enchantment, witchcraft" (see fascinate) + -ous.ETD fascinous (adj.).2

    fascine (n.)

    "bundle used in fortification or as fuel for fire," 1680s, from French fascine, from Latin fascina, from fascis "bundle" (see fasces).ETD fascine (n.).2

    fascinating (adj.)

    "bewitching, charming," 1640s, present-participle adjective from fascinate). Related: Fascinatingly.ETD fascinating (adj.).2

    fascinate (v.)

    1590s, "bewitch, enchant," from French fasciner (14c.), from Latin fascinatus, past participle of fascinare "bewitch, enchant, fascinate," from fascinus "a charm, enchantment, spell, witchcraft," which is 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.ETD fascinate (v.).2

    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.ETD fascinate (v.).3

    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.ETD fascination (n.).2

    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.ETD fascism (n.).2

    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," from Latin fasces (see fasces).ETD fascist (adj.).2

    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.ETD fascist (adj.).3

    [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.ETD fascist (adj.).4

    fascitis (n.)

    see fasciitis.ETD fascitis (n.).2

    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).ETD fash (v.).2

    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" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put").ETD fashion (n.).2

    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.ETD fashion (n.).3

    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.ETD fashion (n.).4

    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 "in a manner accordant with fashion, custom, or prevailing practice; with modish elegance;" fashionably late is by 1809.ETD fashionable (adj.).2

    fashion (v.)

    "to form, give shape to," early 15c.; see fashion (n.). Related: Fashioned; fashioning.ETD fashion (v.).2

    fashionista (n.)

    by 1993, 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).ETD fashionista (n.).2

    fashious (adj.)

    1530s, from vernacular French fâcheux, from fastidieux (see fastidious).ETD fashious (adj.).2

    fast (adv.)

    Old English fæste "firmly, securely; strictly;" also, perhaps, "speedily," from Proto-Germanic *fasto (source also of Old Saxon fasto, Old Frisian feste, Dutch vast, Old High German fasto, German fast "almost," but in earlier use "firmly, immovably, strongly, very"), from *fastu- (adj.) "firm, fast" (see fast (adj.)).ETD fast (adv.).2

    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.ETD fast (adv.).3

    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."ETD fast (n.).2

    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.ETD fastness (n.).2

    fast (adj.)

    Old English fæst "firmly fixed, steadfast, constant; secure; enclosed, watertight; strong, fortified," probably from Proto-Germanic *fastu- "firm, fast" (source also of Old Frisian fest, Old Norse fastr, Dutch vast, German fest), from PIE root *past- "firm, solid" (source of Sanskrit pastyam "dwelling place").ETD fast (adj.).2

    Meaning "rapid, quick" is from 1550s, from fast (adv.) , in which entry the attempt is made to explain how a root meaning "firm, solid" came variously to yield words for "refrain from eating" (fast (v.)) and "rapid, quick." 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).ETD fast (adj.).3

    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.ETD fast (adj.).4

    fast (v.)

    "abstain from food," Old English fæstan "to fast" (as a religious duty), also "to make firm; establish, confirm, pledge," from Proto-Germanic *fastanan "to hold, guard," extended to the religious act "observe abstinence" (source also of Old Frisian festia, Old High German fasten, German fasten, Old Norse fasta "abstain from food"), from the same root as fast (adj.).ETD fast (v.).2

    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," or it might have been a loan-translation of a Greek expression brought to the Goths by Arian missionaries and spread from them to other Germanic peoples. The verb in the sense "to make fast" continued in Middle English, but was superseded by fasten. Related: Fasted; fasting.ETD fast (v.).3

    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).ETD fast and loose.2

    fastener (n.)

    1755, "one who fastens," agent noun from fasten (v.). From 1792 of mechanical devices (for clothing, etc.).ETD fastener (n.).2

    fasten (v.)

    Old English fæstnian "make fast, make firm, fix, secure," also "ratify, betroth, confirm," from Proto-Germanic *fastinon "to make firm or fast" (source also of 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.ETD fasten (v.).2

    faster (n.)

    "one who fasts," c. 1300, agent noun from fast (v.).ETD faster (n.).2

    fastidious (adj.)

    mid-15c., "full of pride," from Latin fastidiosus "disdainful, squeamish, exacting," from fastidium "loathing, squeamishness; dislike, aversion; excessive nicety," which is 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.ETD fastidious (adj.).2

    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.ETD fastly (adv.).2

    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).ETD fat (n.).2

    fat (v.)

    Old English fættian "to become fat, fatten," from the source of fat (adj.). Replaced by fatten except in Biblical fatted calf.ETD fat (v.).2

    fatness (n.)

    Old English fætnesse; see fat (adj.) + -ness.ETD fatness (n.).2

    fat (adj.)

    Middle English fat, from Old English fætt "fat, fatted, plump, obese," originally a contracted past participle of fættian "to cram, stuff," from Proto-Germanic *faitida "fatted," from verb *faitjan "to fatten," from *faita- "plump, fat" (source also of Old Frisian fatt, Old Norse feitr, Dutch vet, German feist "fat").ETD fat (adj.).2

    This is reconstructed to be 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" (source also of Sanskrit payate "swells, exuberates," pituh "juice, sap, resin;" Lithuanian pienas "milk;" Greek pion "fat; wealthy;" Latin pinguis "fat").ETD fat (adj.).3

    The meaning "abounding in comforts, prosperous" is from late 14c. The 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").ETD fat (adj.).4

    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).ETD fat (adj.).5

    Spanish gordo "fat, thick," is from Latin gurdus "stupid, doltish; heavy, clumsy," which also is the source of French gourd "stiff, benumbed" (12c.), engourdir "to dull, stupefy, benumb" (13c.).ETD fat (adj.).6

    fatal (adj.)

    ldlate 14c., "decreed by fate," also "fraught with fate," from O French fatal (14c.) and directly from Latin fatalis "ordained by fate, decreed, destined; of or belonging to fate or destiny; destructive, deadly," from fatum (see fate (n.)). Original senses are obsolete; the meaning "causing or attended with death" in English is from early 15c. Meaning "concerned with or dealing with destiny" is from mid-15c.ETD fatal (adj.).2

    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.ETD fatality (n.).2

    fatally (adv.)

    1570s, "predestined," from fatal + -ly (2). Meaning "in a deadly manner" is from 1590s.ETD fatally (adv.).2

    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.ETD fatalism (n.).2

    fatalistic (adj.)

    "savoring of fatalism," 1757, from fatalist + -ic.ETD fatalistic (adj.).2

    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.ETD fatalist (n.).2

    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.ETD Fata Morgana (n.).2

    fat-back (n.)

    also fatback, cut of pork, 1903, from fat + back (n.). So called because taken from the back of the animal.ETD fat-back (n.).2

    fated (adj.)

    1715, "set apart by fate;" 1721, "doomed, destined," past-participle adjective from fate (v.).ETD fated (adj.).2

    fate (n.)

    late 14c., "one's lot or destiny; predetermined course of life;" also "one's guiding spirit," from Old French fate and directly from Latin fata (source also of Spanish hado, Portuguese fado, Italian fato), neuter plural of fatum "prophetic declaration of what must be, oracle, prediction," thus the Latin word's usual sense, "that which is ordained, destiny, fate," literally "thing spoken (by the gods)," from neuter past participle of fari "to speak," from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say." Often in a bad sense in Latin: "bad luck, ill fortune; mishap, ruin; a pest or plague."ETD fate (n.).2

    From early 15c. as "power that rules destinies, agency which predetermines events; supernatural predetermination;" also "destiny personified." Meaning "that which must be" is from 1660s; sense of "final event" is from 1768. The Latin sense evolution is from "sentence of the Gods" (Greek theosphaton) to "lot, portion" (Greek moira, personified as a goddess in Homer).ETD fate (n.).3

    The sense of "one of the three goddesses (Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos) who determined the course of a human life" (or, as Blount has it, "the three Ladies of destiny") is in English by 1580s. Their Greek name was Moirai (see above), from a verb meaning "to receive one's share." Latin Parca "one of the three Fates or goddesses of fate" (source of French parque "a Fate;" Spanish parca "Death personified; the Grim Reaper") might be from parcere "act sparingly, refrain from; have mercy upon, forbear to injure or punish" (if so, probably here a euphemism) or plectere "to weave, plait." The native word in English was wyrd (see weird).ETD fate (n.).4

    fateful (adj.)

    1710s, "prophetic," from fate (n.) + -ful. Meaning "of momentous consequences" is from c. 1800. Related: Fatefully. Sometimes used by 18c.-19c. poets as if it meant "having the power to kill," which usually belongs to fatal. The broad and diverging senses of fate (n.) also yielded adjectives fated "doomed," also "set aside by fate;" fatiferous "deadly, mortal (1650s), from Latin fatifer "death-bringing;" fatific/fatifical (c. 1600) "having power to foretell," from Latin fatidicus "prophetic."ETD fateful (adj.).2

    fate (v.)

    "to preordain as if by fate; to be destined by fate," c. 1600, from fate (n.). Earlier it meant "to destroy" (c. 1400). Related: Fated; fating.ETD fate (v.).2

    father (n.)

    Middle English fader, from Old English fæder "he who begets a child, nearest male ancestor;" also "any lineal male ancestor; the Supreme Being," and by late Old English, "one who exercises parental care over another," from Proto-Germanic *fader (source also of Old Saxon fadar, Old Frisian feder, Dutch vader, Old Norse faðir, Old High German fatar, German vater; in Gothic usually expressed by atta).ETD father (n.).2

    This is from the PIE root *pəter- "father" (source also of Sanskrit pitar-, Greek pater, Latin pater, Old Persian pita, Old Irish athir "father"), which is presumably from baby-speak sound "pa." The ending formerly was regarded as an agent-noun affix. The classic example of Grimm's Law, where PIE "p-" becomes Germanic "f-."ETD father (n.).3

    The spelling with -th- (15c.) reflects a widespread phonetic shift in Middle English that turned -der to -ther in many words, perhaps reinforced in this case by Old Norse forms; the spelling caught up to pronunciation in 1500s (compare mother (n.), weather (n.), hither, gather).ETD father (n.).4

    As a title of various Church dignitaries from c. 1300; the meaning "creator, inventor, author" is from mid-14c.; that of "anything that gives rise to something else" is from late 14c. As a respectful title for an older man, recorded from 1550s. Father-figure is from 1954. Fathers "leading men, elders" is from 1580s.ETD father (n.).5

    father (v.)

    c. 1400, from father (n.). Related: Fathered; fathering.ETD father (v.).2

    fatherhood (n.)

    early 14c., faderhade; see father (n.) + -hood.ETD fatherhood (n.).2

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