Etymology
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fere (n.)

"companion" (obsolete), from Middle English fere, a shortening of Old English gefera "associate, comrade, fellow-disciple; wife, man, servant," from Proto-Germanic *forjanan, from the causative of *faranan (source of Old English faran "to go, travel"), from PIE root *per- (2) "to lead, pass over." Literally "one who goes with another." Compare German Gefährte "companion," from the same root; also, from causative *forjan-, Old High German fuoren. "to lead," modern German Fuhrer.

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playmate (n.)

1640s, "companion in play or amusement, playfellow," from play (v.) + mate (n.). The sexual sense is from 1954 and the launch of "Playboy" magazine. The earlier word was Middle English playfere (also playfeer, playpheer) with obsolete fere "companion."

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*per- (2)

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to lead, pass over." A verbal root associated with *per- (1), which forms prepositions and preverbs with the basic meaning "forward, through; in front of, before," etc.

It forms all or part of: aporia; asportation; comport; deport; disport; emporium; Euphrates; export; fare; farewell; fartlek; Ferdinand; fere; fern; ferry; firth; fjord; ford; Fuhrer; gaberdine; import; important; importune; opportune; opportunity; passport; porch; pore (n.) "minute opening;" port (n.1) "harbor;" port (n.2) "gateway, entrance;" port (n.3) "bearing, mien;" port (v.) "to carry;" portable; portage; portal; portcullis; porter (n.1) "person who carries;" porter (n.2) "doorkeeper, janitor;" portfolio; portico; portiere; purport; practical; rapport; report; sport; support; transport; warfare; wayfarer; welfare.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit parayati "carries over;" Greek poros "journey, passage, way," peirein "to pierce, pass through, run through;" Latin portare "to carry," porta "gate, door," portus "port, harbor," originally "entrance, passage," peritus "experienced;" Avestan peretush "passage, ford, bridge;" Armenian hordan "go forward;" Old Welsh rit, Welsh rhyd "ford;" Old Church Slavonic pariti "to fly;" Old English faran "to go, journey," Old Norse fjörðr "inlet, estuary."

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bedfellow (n.)
"close friend, roommate, one who shares a bed with another," mid-15c., from bed (n.) + fellow (n.). Also (late 15c) "concubine." Earlier in the "close companion" sense was bed-fere (early 14c.). Old English had simply bedda. Bedsister "husband's concubine" is recorded in Middle English (c. 1300).
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fear (n.)

Middle English fere, from Old English fær "calamity, sudden danger, peril, sudden attack," from Proto-Germanic *feraz "danger" (source also of Old Saxon far "ambush," Old Norse far "harm, distress, deception," Dutch gevaar, German Gefahr "danger"), from PIE *pēr-, a lengthened form of the verbal root *per- (3) "to try, risk."

The sense of "state of being afraid, uneasiness caused by possible danger" developed by late 12c. Some Old English words for "fear" as we now use it were fyrhto, fyrhto; as a verb, ondrædan. Meaning "feeling of dread and reverence for God" is from c. 1400. To put the fear of God (into someone) "intimidate, cause to cower" is by 1888, from the common religious phrase; the extended use was often at first in colonial contexts:

Thus then we seek to put "the fear of God" into the natives at the point of the bayonet, and excuse ourselves for the bloody work on the plea of the benefits which we intend to confer afterwards. [Felix Adler, "The Religion of Duty," 1905]
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