Fian to Field of the Cloth of Gold
Fian (John), a schoolmaster at Saltpans, near Edinburg, tortured to death and then burnt at the stake on the Castle Hill of Edinburgh, Saturday, January, 1591, because he refused to acknowledge that he had raised a storm at sea, to wreck James I. on his voyage to Denmark to visit his future queen. First, his head was crushed in upon his brain by means of a rope twisted tighter and tighter; then his two legs were jammed to a jelly in the wooden boots; then his nails were pulled out and pins inserted in the raw finger tips; as he still remained silent, he was strangled, and his dead body burnt to ashes.
Fiars Striking the fiars. Taking the average price of corn. Fiars is a Gothic word, still current in Ireland. (Scotch law.)
Fiasco A failure, a mull. In Italy they cry Olà, olà, fiasco! to an unpopular singer. This word, common in
France and Germany, is employed as the opposite of furore.
Fiat I give my fiat to that proposal. I consent to it. A fiat in law is an order of the court directing that something stated be done. (Latin, fiat, let it be done.)
Fib An attendant on Queen Mab in Drayton's Nymphidia. Fib, meaning a falsehood, is the Latin fabula, a fable.
"Fico for the phrase."
"I see contempt marching forth, giving me the fico with his thombe in his mouth." - Wit's Miserie (1596).Fiddle (Latin, fidis or fides). He was first fiddle. Chief man, the most distinguished of the company.
To play second fiddle. To take a subordinate part. The allusion is to the leader of concerts, who leads with a fiddle.
The Scotch fiddle or Caledonian Cremona. The itch. As fiddlers scratch with a bow the strings of a fiddle, so persons suffering from skin-irritation keep scratching the part irritated.
Fiddle About (To). To fiddle about a thing means to "play" business. To fiddle with one's fingers is to
move them about as a fiddler moves his fingers up and down the fiddle-strings.
"Mere trifling, or unprofitable fiddling about nothing." - Barrow: Sermons, vol.i. sermon 7.Fiddle-de-dee! An exclamation signifying what you say is nonsense or moonshine. Fiddle-de-dee is meant to express the sound of a fiddle-string vocalised. Hence "sound signifying nothing."
Fiddle-faddle It is all fiddle-faddle. Rubbishy nonsense; talk not worth attention. A ricochet word, of
which we have a vast number, as "flim-flam," "helter-skelter," "wishy-washy," etc. To fiddle is to waste time
in playing on the fiddle, and hence fiddle means a trifle, and fiddle-faddle is silly trifle or silly nonsense.
"Pitiful fool that I was to stand fiddle-faddling in that way." Clough: Amours de Voyage, canto iv. stanza 3.Fiddleback The name of Oliver Goldsmith's poor unfortunate pony, on which he made his country excursions.
Fiddler Drunk as a fiddler. Fiddlers at wakes and fairs were allowed meat and drink to their heart's
content, and seldom left a merry-making sober.
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