late 15c., "addicted to novelty," literally "ready to grasp at all new things," from adjective newefangel "fond of novelty" (late 14c.), from new + -fangel "inclined to take," from Proto-Germanic *fanglon "to grasp," from nasalized form of PIE root *pag- "to fasten" (compare fang). Sense of "lately come into fashion" first recorded 1530s. Fanglement "act of fashioning; something made" is from 1660s. Middle English had gar-fangel "fish-spear."
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