verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- an area where ocean waves are being generated by the wind.
- the length of such an area.
- Informal. to arrive or stop.
- Older Use. to raise (children); bring up: She had to fetch up her younger sisters.
- Nautical. (of a vessel) to come to a halt, as by lowering an anchor or running aground; bring up.
IT’S A WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ BONANZA!
Idioms for fetch
Origin of fetch1
synonym study for fetch
OTHER WORDS FROM fetchfetcher, noun
Words nearby fetch
Definition for fetch (2 of 2)
Origin of fetch2
ABOUT THIS WORD
What else does fetch mean?
Fetch is slang for “cool” or “awesome” and is not, in fact, from England.
It started as a joke in the movie Mean Girls, only to catch on off-screen.
Where does fetch come from?
Fetch dates back to before the year 1000, when it showed up in Old English as fecc(e)an. It’s related to the German fassen which means to grasp. Back then (and now, if you’re going with the typical definition), fetch typically meant to get or return with an object.
It wasn’t until April 2004, when the movie Mean Girls was released in theaters, that fetch the slang word totally happened.
The movie about a group of high school girls launched the phrase so fetch into the lexicon, thanks to character Gretchen Weiners (played by Lacey Chabert) who spent much of the flick declaring things she liked were “so fetch.” In a now iconic scene, head mean girl Regina George (played by Rachel McAdams) snaps at Gretchen, telling her to “stop trying to make fetch happen.”
Mean Girls creator Tina Fey has said she’s sorry for adding the word to the movie, telling the Today Show, “I want to apologize to the world for fetch. I didn’t mean for it to happen.”
But it looks like Gretchen got the last laugh.
So fetch has caught on, especially among fans of the cult classic. Mean Girls has since been turned into a Broadway show where so fetch is said multiple times per showing.
How is fetch used in real life?
The internet loves to call its favorite things “so fetch.” This goes double for anything that’s pink on a Wednesday—a nod to another famous Mean Girls quote.
I’m so proud of Harry for wearing pink on a wednesday he’s a true Mean Girls stan. That suit of his is so ~fetch~ pic.twitter.com/5JkkpOh7zp
— ashlee (@ashleedaniellee) April 5, 2018
When things aren’t so fetch, fans are using the hashtag #MakeFetchHappen.
— Henry Baker (@henraldo) September 27, 2018
More examples of fetch:
“In “Mean Girls,” Gretchen Wieners didn’t make “fetch” (for the non-Plastics among you: fetch roughly equates to cool/awesome) happen, much to the satisfaction of queen bee Regina George. But a decade later, the social media age has.”
—Carla Correa, FiveThirtyEight, August 2014
This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.
Example sentences from the Web for fetch
The same bodyguard, apparently bearing croissants, returns to fetch the never-married philandering leader the next morning.Hollande's Jilted Lover Valerie Trierweiler Tells All|Tracy McNicoll|September 3, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Rhino horn is particularly lucrative—each kilogram can fetch up to $66,000.
She has a t-shirt that says “Fetch,” the catchphrase from Mean Girls!Lindsay Lohan’s Reality Show Is the Most Stressful Thing on TV|Kevin Fallon|March 10, 2014|DAILY BEAST
A frightened maid came out in haste and ran away to fetch some remedy.Read ‘The King in Yellow,’ the ‘True Detective’ Reference That’s the Key to the Show|Robert W. Chambers|February 20, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The Killer ordered the deputies to fetch his tow-truck man, David Camp, campaign manager to James Albert Riley.The Strange and Mysterious Death of Mrs. Jerry Lee Lewis|Richard Ben Cramer|January 11, 2014|DAILY BEAST
To-morrow morning we will come back to fetch the chariot: now, forward, march!Captain Fracasse|Theophile Gautier
Fetch me then three kinds of water, the Life-giving, the Curing, and the Strengthening.Fairy Tales of the Slav Peasants and Herdsmen|Alexander Chodsko
The cloud of blessing floats over our heads, but we fail to stretch forth the electric rod of prayer to fetch it down!The Hart and the Water-Brooks;|John R. Macduff
Hilda the Sunbeam was not despised because she climbed the mountainside to fetch milk and butter for the family.Erling the Bold|R.M. Ballantyne
Of course I at once sent for old Dr. Macnab, and asked him to fetch a certificate for an insane person with him.Scotch Wit and Humor|W. H. (Walter Henry) Howe