Etymology
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fad (n.)

1834, "hobby, pet project" (adjective faddy is from 1824), of uncertain origin. Perhaps shortened from fiddle-faddle. Or perhaps from French fadaise "trifle, nonsense," which is ultimately from Latin fatuus "stupid." From 1881 as "fashion, craze," or as Century Dictionary has it, "trivial fancy adopted and pursued for a time with irrational zeal."

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faddish (adj.)

"temporarily fashionable," 1855, from fad + -ish. Related: Faddishness.

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bee's knees (n.)

1923, a survivor of a fad around this year for slang terms denoting "excellence" and based on animal anatomy. Also existed in the more ribald form bee's nuts. Other versions that lasted through the century are cat's whiskers (1923), cat's pajamas, cat's meow. More obscure examples are canary's tusks, cat's nuts and flea's eyebrows. The fad still had a heartbeat in Britain at the end of the century, as attested by the appearance of dog's bollocks in 1989. Bee's knee was used as far back as 1797 for "something insignificant."

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aerobics (n.)

method of exercise and a fad in early 1980s, American English, coined 1968 by U.S. physician Kenneth H. Cooper (b. 1931), from aerobic (also see -ics) on the notion of activities which require modest oxygen intake and thus can be maintained.

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shmoo (n.)

plural shmoon, name of a newspaper comic strip creature, a fabulous animal ready to fulfill man's wants, 1948; invented by U.S. cartoonist Al Capp (Alfred Caplin, 1909-1979); the name perhaps based on schmoe. They were a U.S. fad for a couple of years after their debut.

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craze (n.)

late 15c., "break down in health," from craze (v.) in its Middle English sense of "to shatter, break to pieces." In 16c. also "a flaw, a defect, an infirmity." Perhaps via a notion of "mental breakdown," by 1813 the sense was extended to "mania, irrational fancy, fad," or, as The Century Dictionary defines it, "An unreasoning or capricious liking or affectation of liking, more or less sudden and temporary, and usually shared by a number of persons, especially in society, for something particular, uncommon, peculiar, or curious ..." [1897].

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phreak (n.)

1972 (also as a verb), originally in phone phreak, one of a set of technically creative people who electronically hacked or defrauded telephone companies of the day.

The phreaks first appeared on the US scene in the early 1960s, when a group of MIT students were found to have conducted a late night dialling experiment on the Defense Department's secret network. They were rewarded with jobs when they explained their system to Bell investigators. ... The name "phone phreak" identified the enthisiasts with the common underground usage of freak as someone who was cool and used drugs. [New Scientist, Dec. 13, 1973]

The ph- in phone may have suggested the alteration, and this seems to be the original of the 1990s slang fad for substituting ph- for f- (as in phat).

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shaggy (adj.)

"unkempt; having rough, coarse, long hair," 1580s, from shag (n.) + -y (2). Related: Shaggily; shagginess. Earlier was shagged, from Old English sceacgede "hairy;" compare Old Norse skeggjaðr, Danish skægget "bearded." The shaggy-dog story as a type of absurd joke built into a long, tedious story, is attested from 1943 and was a fad in the mid-40s. The origin of the phrase may be in vaudeville; the most-often cited original example involves an Englishman who offers a reward for a lost shaggy dog, an enterprising American who, with great difficulty, tracks him down and offers a shaggy dog that he claims is the one, and his curt reception: "Not that shaggy." But the story does not seem to be older than the phrase.

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fox-trot (n.)

also foxtrot, 1872, "a slow trot or jog trot, a pace with short steps," such as a fox's, especially of horses, from fox (n.) + trot (n.). As a type of popular dance to ragtime music, from late 1914, a fad in 1915. The early writing on the dance often seems unaware of the equestrian pace of the same name, and instead associated it with the turkey trot one-step dance that was popular a few years before.

As a variation of the one-step, as a legitimate successor to all the objectionable trots, the fox trot has attained a form which is in a fair way to become permanent. ... It has the charm of being an absolute fit for many of the most alluring transient tunes; and it can be danced, without self-consciousness, by hundreds of people who never pretended to be graceful or dancefully talented. [Maurice Mouvet, "Maurice's Art of Dancing," 1915]
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jog (v.)

1540s, "to shake up and down," perhaps altered from Middle English shoggen "to shake, jolt, move with a jerk" (late 14c.), a word of uncertain origin. Meanings "touch or push slightly," "stir up or stimulate by hint or push," and "walk or ride with a jolting pace" all are from 16c.

The modern sense in reference to running as training mostly dates from 1948; at first a regimen for athletes, it became a popular fad c. 1967. Perhaps this sense is extended from its use in horsemanship.

Jogging. The act of exercising, or working a horse to keep him in condition, or to prepare him for a race. There is no development in jogging, and it is wholly a preliminary exercise to bring the muscular organization to the point of sustained, determined action. [Samuel L. Boardman, "Handbook of the Turf," New York, 1910]

Related: Jogged; jogging.

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