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verb (used with object), faked, fak·ing.
  1. to lay (a rope) in a coil or series of long loops so as to allow to run freely without fouling or kinking (often followed by down).
  1. any complete turn of a rope that has been faked down.
  2. any of the various ways in which a rope may be faked down.
Also flake.

Origin of fake2

1350–1400; Middle English faken to coil (a rope), of obscure origin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for fake-down


  1. (tr) to cause (something inferior or not genuine) to appear more valuable, desirable, or real by fraud or pretence
  2. to pretend to have (an illness, emotion, etc)to fake a headache
  3. to improvise (music, stage dialogue, etc)
  1. an object, person, or act that is not genuine; sham, counterfeit, or forgery
  1. not genuine; spurious
Derived Formsfaker, nounfakery, noun

Word Origin

originally (C18) thieves' slang to mug or do someone; probably via Polari from Italian facciare to make or do


  1. (tr usually foll by down) to coil (a rope) on deck
  1. one round of a coil of rope

Word Origin

Middle English faken, perhaps via Lingua Franca from Italian facciare to make or do; see fake 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for fake-down


attested in London criminal slang as adjective (1775), verb (1812), and noun (1851, of persons 1888), but probably older. A likely source is feague "to spruce up by artificial means," from German fegen "polish, sweep," also "to clear out, plunder" in colloquial use. "Much of our early thieves' slang is Ger. or Du., and dates from the Thirty Years' War" [Weekley]. Or it may be from Latin facere "to do." Related: Faked; fakes; faking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper