[ fel-uh ]
/ ˈfɛl ə /
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noun Informal.
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Origin of fella

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does fella mean?

Fella is a very informal way of saying fellow—a general term for a man or boy.

Fella can be used as an informal term of address similar to terms like dude, buddy, or pal, as in Hey, fella, what’s new with you? In this way, it’s perhaps most commonly used to refer to or address a male animal, especially a pet, as in Hey, little fella, you’re the cutest!

It can also be used by a man to refer to himself, as in Where can a fella find a hot meal around here?

Most senses of fella (and fellow) sound old-timey and aren’t commonly used (other than to sound old-timey).

However, the plural form, fellas, is somewhat commonly used, especially by men or boys as an informal and familiar way to refer to their male friends (the fellas) or as a way to address them, in much the same way as the term guys.

Fella is also used in the informal phrase big fella, referring to a particularly large man or object, as in He’s a big fella, ain’t he?

Example: Jen’s having a night out with the ladies, so I’m going to stay here and hang with the fellas.

Where does fella come from?

The first records of the word fella come from before the 1800s. Although it’s ultimately a variant of the word fellow, it’s thought to derive from an altered pronunciation of another variant of fellowfeller.

If it’s “guy’s night,” that means the fellas are hanging out (probably in a man cave). The singular form fella is less commonly used, unless perhaps when referring to pets. When it is, it’s often paired with an adjective, as in big fella or handsome fella.

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What are some other forms related to fella?

  • fellas (plural)

What are some synonyms for fella?

What are some words that share a root or word element with fella



What are some words that often get used in discussing fella?


How is fella used in real life?

The term fella is very informal and is typically used to refer to or address friends and pets.



Try using fella!

Is fella used correctly in the following sentence?

He may be a young fella, but he sure is clever!

How to use fella in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for fella

/ (ˈfɛlə) /

a nonstandard variant of fellow
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