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90s Slang You Should Know


[fey] /feɪ/
British Dialect. doomed; fated to die.
Chiefly Scot. appearing to be under a spell; marked by an apprehension of death, calamity, or evil.
supernatural; unreal; enchanted:
elves, fairies, and other fey creatures.
being in unnaturally high spirits, as were formerly thought to precede death.
whimsical; strange; otherworldly:
a strange child with a mysterious smile and a fey manner.
Origin of fey
before 900; Middle English; Old English fǣge doomed to die; cognate with Old Norse feigr doomed, German feig cowardly Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for fey
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Get you gone, all the sort of you, there is a fey man in this company, be he who he will.

    A Monk of Fife Andrew Lang
  • Into his mind, involuntarily, came the awesome Scotch word “fey.”

    The Mistress of Shenstone Florence L. Barclay
  • He walked now like a man who was fey and his face was that of another world.

    The Path of the King John Buchan
  • I think I must be fey to-day; you cannot irritate me even when you try.

  • I hope I am not fey,' I said to myself, with a little thrill of excitement and expectation as the familiar station came in view.

    Uncle Max Rosa Nouchette Carey
British Dictionary definitions for fey


interested in or believing in the supernatural
attuned to the supernatural; clairvoyant; visionary
(mainly Scot) fated to die; doomed
(mainly Scot) in a state of high spirits or unusual excitement, formerly believed to presage death
Derived Forms
feyness, noun
Word Origin
Old English fæge marked out for death; related to Old Norse feigr doomed, Old High German feigi
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
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Word Origin and History for fey

"of excitement that presages death," from Old English fæge "doomed to die, fated, destines," also "timid, feeble;" and/or from Old Norse feigr, both from Proto-Germanic *faigjo- (cf. Old Saxon fegi, Old Frisian fai, Middle Dutch vege, Middle High German veige "doomed," also "timid," German feige "cowardly"), from PIE *peig- "evil-minded, hostile" (see foe). Preserved in Scottish. Sense of "displaying unearthly qualities" and "disordered in the mind (like one about to die)" led to modern ironic sense of "affected."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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