*faineant \fay-nay-AWN\ (adjective) –
1 : Doing nothing or given to doing nothing; idle; lazy. (noun) –
2 : A do-nothing; an idle fellow; a sluggard. "A faineant government is not the worst government that England can have. It has been the great fault of our politicians that they have all wanted to do something." — Anthony Trollope, Phineas Finn Faineant is from French, from Middle French fait, "does" + neant, "nothing."
faldage \FAL-dij\ (noun) – The privilege of setting up folds (pens) in which tenants are required to keep their sheep, and moving them about to any fields the owner wishes in order to fertilize those fields. "You may have free faldage on my lawn if you will agree to trade grazing for guano and mowing." From Old English falad, falod, falud, fald "a stall (for sheep, deer, horses, and the like)," akin to Middle Low German valt "an enclosed space, a yard," which turned into Dutch vaalt "dung hill" (you can easily see why). The forms "falad," "falod," and "falud" suggest a connection with Danish fjal and Norwegian fjol "board, plank." "Falod" thus at one time might have referred to the boards that formed an enclosure. The source of the stem before Old English is murky.
fatidic \fuh-TID-ik\ (adjective) – Of, relating to, or characterized by prophecy; prophetic. "With a fatidic clarity that conies only occasionally and only to the young, she understood that, like the mythic marking of her purple-banded lake, this too was a sign, an omen." — Kathleen Cambor, ‘In Sunlight, in a Beautiful Garden’ Fatidic comes from Latin fatidicus, from fati- (from fatum, "fate") + -dicus (from dicere, "to say").
favonian \fuh-VOH-nee-uhn\ (adjective) –
Pertaining to the west wind; soft; mild; gentle.
"The sun had a misty glare, the favonian wind blew steadily from the same quarter, and the streets were dismal with uncol- lected refuse." — Vincent McHugh, ‘I Am Thinking of My Darling’
Favonian is derived from Latin Favonius, "the west wind."
felicitous \fuh-LIS-uh-tuhs\ (adjective) –
1 : Suitably applied or expressed; appropriate; apt.
2 : Happy; delightful; marked by good fortune.
"His wonderful cheerfulness, I suppose," said I, sneering with spleen, "originates not less in a felicitous fortune than in a felicitous temper." — Herman Melville, ‘The Fiddler’
Felicitous is derived from Latin felicitas, "fertility, hence success, happiness," from felix, "fertile, successful, happy."
fettle \FET-l\ (noun) –
A state or condition of fitness or order; state of mind; spirits — often used in the phrase "in fine fettle."
"After the fallout of Mel’s separation and divorce, he was surprised to find himself in such fine fettle financially, in spite of the egregious amount of money that his ex- had taken him for."
Fettle is from Middle English fetlen, "to set in order," originally "to gird up," from Old English fetel, "a girdle."
flatulent \FLACH-uh-lent\ (adjective) –
1 : Of, afflicted with, or caused by flatulence, the presence of excessive gas in the digestive tract.
2 : Inducing or generating flatulence.
3 : Pompous; bloated.
"The meeting of August 15th, which Neil considered to be a particular waste of time, alternated between flatulent speechifying and blistering invective."
fletcherize \FLECH-uh-ryz\ (verb tr., intr.)
– To chew food thoroughly.
‘Dinner table conversation came to a halt once the meal was served, as all were advocates of Horace’s program and were wont to Fletcherize.’
From the practice of chewing food many many times as advocated by Horace Fletcher, U.S. nutritionist (1849-1919).
flummery \FLUHM-uh-ree\ (noun) –
1 : A name given to various sweet dishes made with milk, eggs, flour, etc.
2 : Empty compliment; unsubstantial talk or writing; mumbo jumbo; nonsense.
"Magnificence and flummery. Whether flummery is the price one must pay for magnificence or whether magnificence is the cost of flummery, I should not care to say." — Donald Thomas, ‘The Execution of Sherlock Holmes"
Flummery comes from Welsh llymru, a soft, sour oatmeal food.
foofaraw \FOO-fuh-raw\ (noun) –
1 : Excessive or flashy ornamentation or decoration.
2 : A fuss over a matter of little importance.
"A somber, muted descending motif opens and closes the work, which is brief but effective. It provided much needed relief from the fanfares and foofaraw in which brass-going composers so often indulge." — Philip Kennicott, ‘Brass Spectacular is a Spectacle of Special Sound’
Foofaraw is perhaps from Spanish fanfarrón, "a braggart."
fop \FOP\ (noun) – A man who is overly concerned with or vain about his dress and appearance; a dandy.
"Churchill was a walking example of the fine line that often lies between being a sharp dresser and an out-and-out fop."
Fop comes from Middle English fop, foppe, "a fool." The adjective form is foppish.
forcible \FOR-suh-buhl\ (adjective) –
1 : Using force against opposition or resistance; effected or accomplished by force; as, "forcible entry or abduction."
2 : Characterized by force, efficiency, or energy; powerful.
"Filled with regret after the fact, Ellen wanted to characterize the visit as ‘forcible entry,’ although Henry pointed out that it was more like simple ‘entry’ as she had opened the door and invited him in after he’d rung the doorbell."
Forcible ultimately derives from Latin fortis, "strong."
forgo \for-GO\ (transitive verb) –
To abstain from; to do without. Inflected forms: forwent, forgone, forgoing, forgoes.
"Having decided to forgo the healing silence of Zen koans in her solitude, she was reading Ann Landers when Jill came in." — Beth Gutcheon, "Five Fortunes"
Forgo derives from Old English forgan, "to go without, to forgo," from for-, "without" + gan, "to go."
fricassee \fri-keh-SEE or FRI-keh-see\ (noun) – A dish made of poultry or meat, fresh or leftover, cut into small pieces, sauteed, then stewed in a gravy.
"Sullivan’s proposal contained nothing new; it was just a fricassee of leftover ideas from the proposal he made the previous year."
Today’s word is the untarnished French past participle, "fricassee," from fricasser "to fricassee." The French verb probably comes from a compound of frire "to fry" + casser "to break up, break apart." French "frire" descended from Latin frigere "to roast, fry" which shares a root with its near antonym fridigus "frigid" in the same way that "cold" and "scald" share the same original root. French "cassare" comes from Latin quassare "to shake, shatter." It would seem to be unrelated to "quake" despite the similarity in sound and meaning.
frisson \free-SOHN\ (noun) – A moment of intense excitement; a shudder; an emotional thrill.
"While Carol loved the frisson of watching movies where hapless ladies became victims through no fault of their own, she hated to think about what she might do should she actually find herself in such a situation."
Frisson comes from the French, from Old French fricon, "a trembling," ultimately from Latin frigere, "to be cold."
fulsome \FUL-sum\ (adjective) –
1 : Offensive to the taste or sensibilities.
2 : Insincere or excessively lavish; especially, offensive from excess of praise.
"Long the art critic for the school’s newspaper, Leon was a master at expressing concealed disgust under the appearance of fulsome endearment."
Fulsome is from Middle English fulsom, from full + -som, "-some."
fussbudget /FUS-buj-it/ (noun) – One who is fussy about unimportant things.
‘Mike was the sort of fussbudget who could be brought to fits of conniption by the simple fact that his desk blotter had been placed to close too the edge of his desk or that his trash can had not been emptied properly.’
From fuss + budget, from Middle English, from Old French bougette, diminutive of bouge (bag), from Latin bulga (bag). Ultimately from Indo-European root bhelgh- (to swell) that is also the source of bulge, bellows, billow, belly, and bolster.