- farmhand (n.)
- by 1835, from farm (n.) + hand (n.) in the "hired workman" sense.
- farmhouse (n.)
- 1590s, from farm (n.) + house (n.).
- farming (n.)
- 1590s, "action of farming out," verbal noun from farm (v.). Meaning "husbandry" attested by 1733.
- farmland (n.)
- mid-14c., from farm (n.) + land (n.).
- faro (n.)
- 1735, gambling game with cards, apparently altered from pharaoh; perhaps his image was on one of the cards.
- surname attested from late 12c., from Gaelic fearchar "very dear one."
- farrago (n.)
- 1630s, from Latin farrago "medley, mix of grains for animal feed," from far "grain" (see barley).
- Irish surname, from Irish Fearghail "man of valor."
- farrier (n.)
- 1560s, from Middle French ferrier "blacksmith," from Latin ferrarius "of iron," also "blacksmith," 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).
- 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), from PIE *porkos- (see pork (n.)). Sense of "a litter of pigs" first recorded 1570s. As a verb, early 13c.
- Farsi (n.)
- 1878, modern Persian language, the usual Iranian word for it, from Fars, Arabic name for region of Pars (no "p" in Arabic) in southwestern Iran, where the modern language evolved from Indo-European-based Persian with many Arabic elements.
- fart (v.)
- Old English feortan, ultimately from PIE *perd- (cognates: Old High German ferzan, Old Norse freta, 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.)
- c.1300, variant of further (q.v.), by 17c. it replaced ferrer as comparative of the descendant of Old English fierr "far" (itself a comparative but no longer felt as one). Vowel change influenced by the root vowel, and confusion with Middle English ferþeren "to assist, promote, advance" (see forth). There is no historical basis for the notion that farther is of physical distance and further of degree or quality.
- farthest (adj.)
- late 14c., superlative of far.
- farthing (n.)
- Old English feorðung "quarter of a penny," a diminutive derivative of feorða "fourth" (from feower "four") + -ing "fractional part." Cognate with Old Frisian fiardeng, Middle Low German verdink, Old Norse fjordhungr.
Used in biblical translation of Latin quadrans "quarter of a denarius;" the English coin (of silver until 17c., later of copper or bronze), first was minted under Edward I and abolished 1961.
I shall geat a fart of a dead man as soone As a farthyng of him. [Heywood, "Proverbs," 1562]
- farthingale (n.)
- 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 from cane hoops or rods.
- 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.), perhaps from PIE *bhasko- "band, bundle" (cognates: Middle Irish basc "neckband," Welsh baich "load, burden," 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.
- fascia (n.)
- 1560s, from Latin fascia "a band, bandage, swathe" (see fasces). Originally in architecture; anatomical use is from 1788.
- fascicle (n.)
- 1620s, from Latin fasciculus "a small bundle, a bunch," diminutive of fascis (see fasces). As "part of a work published in installments," 1640s (also fascicule, from French). Related: Fasciculate; fasciculation.
- 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 "spell, witchcraft," of uncertain origin. Possibly from Greek baskanos "bewitcher, sorcerer," with form influenced by Latin fari "speak" (see fame (n.)).
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]
The Greek word might be from a Thracian equivalent of Greek phaskein "to say;" compare also enchant, and German besprechen "to charm," from sprechen "to speak." 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" is first recorded 1815. Related: Fascinated; fascinating.
- fascination (n.)
- c.1600, from Latin fascinationem (nominative fascinatio), noun of action from past participle stem of fascinare (see fascinate).
- fascinous (adj.)
- 1660s, "caused by witchcraft," from Latin fascinum "charm, enchantment, witchcraft" (see fascinate) + -ous.
- fascism (n.)
- 1922, originally used in English 1920 in its Italian form (see fascist). Applied to similar groups in Germany from 1923; applied to everyone since the rise of 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, (as a noun 1922), 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).
With fascism, originally used in English 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.] Fasci "groups of men organized for political purposes" had been a feature of Sicily since c.1895, and the 20c. totalitatrian sense probably came directly from this, but influenced by the Roman fasces, which became the party symbol. Related: Fascistic.
- fascitis (n.)
- see fasciitis.
- fashion (n.)
- c.1300, "shape, manner, mode," from Old French façon (12c.) "face, appearance; construction, pattern, design; thing done; beauty; manner, characteristic feature," from Latin factionem (nominative factio) "group of people acting together," literally "a making or doing," from facere "to make" (see factitious).
Sense of "prevailing custom" is from late 15c.; that of "style of attire" is from 1520s.
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]
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. Transfered sense of "well-dressed person" had emerged by 1920s.
- fashion (v.)
- early 15c.; see fashion (n.). Related: Fashioned; fashioning.
- fashionable (adj.)
- "stylish," c.1600, "capable of being fashioned," also "conformable to prevailing tastes," from fashion + -able. Related: Fashionably.
- fashionista (n.)
- by 1996, from fashion + -ista (see -ist). In the same sense were fashionist (1610s, alive as late as 1850); fashion-monger (1590s); fashion-fly (1868).
- fast (adj.)
- Old English fæst "firmly fixed, steadfast, secure, enclosed," probably from Proto-Germanic *fastuz (cognates: Old Frisian fest, Old Norse fastr, Dutch vast, German fest), from PIE root *past- "firm" (source of Sanskrit pastyam "dwelling place").
The adverb meaning "quickly, swiftly" was perhaps in Old English, or from Old Norse fast, either way developing from the sense of "firmly, strongly, vigorously" (to run hard means the same as to run fast; also compare fast asleep), or perhaps from the notion of a runner who "sticks" close to whatever he is chasing.
The sense of "living an unrestrained life" (usually of women) is from 1746 (fast living is from 1745). Fast buck recorded from 1947; fast food is first attested 1951. Fast-forward first recorded 1948. Fast lane is by 1966; the fast track originally was in horse-racing (1934); figurative sense by 1960s. To fast talk someone (v.) is recorded by 1946.
- fast (v.)
- Old English fæstan "to fast" (as a religious duty), from Proto-Germanic *fastejan (cognates: Old Frisian festia, Old High German fasten, German fasten, Old Norse fasta), from the same root as fast (adj.).
The original meaning was "hold firmly," and the sense evolution is via "firm control of oneself," to "holding to observance" (compare Gothic fastan "to keep, observe," also "to fast"). Presumably the whole group is a Germanic translation of Medieval Latin observare "to fast." Related: Fasted; fasting.
- fast (n.)
- Old English fæstan, festen, or Old Norse fasta; from the root of fast (v.).
- 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, firm," also "ratify, betroth," 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, Old Norse fastna "to pledge, betroth"), from *fastuz (see fast (adj.)). Related: Fastened; fastener; fastening.
- 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," most likely from *fastu-taidiom, a compound of fastus "contempt, arrogance" and taedium "aversion, disgust." Early use in English was both in passive and active senses. Meaning "squeamish, over-nice" emerged in English 1610s. Related: Fastidiously; fastidiousness.
- fastly (adv.)
- former adverbial cousin to fast (adj.), from Old English fæstlic "firm, fixed, steadfast, resolute;" obsolete in 19c., simple fast taking its place.
- fastness (n.)
- "a place not easily forced, a stronghold," late Old English fæstnes, 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 *faitaz "fat" (cognates: Old Frisian fatt, Old Norse feitr, Dutch vet, German feist), 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").
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.)
- mid-14c.; see fat (v.). Figurative sense of "best or most rewarding part" is from 1560s.
- 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," from Middle French fatal (14c.) and directly from Latin fatalis "ordained by fate," from fatum (see fate (n.)); sense of "causing death" is early 15c.
- fatalism (n.)
- 1670s, from fatal + -ism.
- fatalist (n.)
- 1640s, in reference to the philosophical doctrine that all things are determined by fate; from fatal + -ist. General sense of "one who accepts every event as inevitable" is from 1734.
- fatalistic (adj.)
- 1832, from fatalist + -ic.
- fatality (n.)
- late 15c., "quality of causing death," from French fatalité, from Late Latin fatalitatem (nominative fatalitas), from Latin fatalis (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.
- fatally (adv.)
- 1570s, "predestined," from fatal + -ly (2). Meaning "in a deadly manner" is from 1590s.
- fatback (n.)
- 1903, from fat + back (n.). So called because taken from the back of the animal.