facile princepsRelated entries & more
facilis descensus AverniRelated entries & more
Latin, literally "the descent of Avernus (is) easy" ["Aeneid," VI.126], in reference to Avernus, a deep lake near Puteoli and a reputed entrance to the underworld; hence, "it is easy to slip into moral ruin."
fait accompli (n.)Related entries & more
Fannie Mae (n.)Related entries & more
1948, from FNMA, acronym of "Federal National Mortgage Association," established 1938.
fast and looseRelated entries & more
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).
Father's DayRelated entries & more
1910, begun in Spokane, Washington, U.S., but not widespread until 1940s; an imitation of Mother's Day.
faux pas (n.)Related entries & more
feme covert (n.)Related entries & more
femme fatale (n.)Related entries & more
Une femme fatale est une femme qui porte malheur. [Jules Claretie, "La Vie a Paris," 1896]
Earlier, such a woman might be called a Circe.
feng shui (n.)Related entries & more
also feng-shui, fung-shui, 1797, from Chinese, from feng "wind" + shui "water." A system of spiritual influences in natural landscapes and a means of regulating them; "A kind of geomancy practiced by the Chinese for determining the luckiness or unluckiness of sites for graves, houses, cities, etc." [Century Dictionary].