Fum to Futile

Fum or Fung hwang. One of the four symbolical animals supposed to preside over the destinies of the Chinese Empire. It originated from the element of fire, was born in the Hill of the Sun's Halo, and has its body inscribed with the five cardinal virtues. It has the forepart of a goose, the hind-quarters of a stag, the neck of a snake, the tail of a fish, the forehead of a fowl, the down of a duck, the marks of a dragon, the back of a tortoise, the face of a swallow, the beak of a cock, is about six cubits high, and perches only on the woo-tung tree. It is this curious creature that is embroidered on the dresses of certain mandarins.

Fum the Fourth George IV.

"And where is Fum the Fourth, our royal bird."
Byron: Don Juan, xi. 78.
Fumage (2 syl.). A tax for having a fire, mentioned in Domesday Book, and abolished by William III. (Latin, fumus, smoke.)

Fume In a fume. In ill-temper, especially from impatience. The French say, "Fumer sans tabac; Fumer sans pipe " (to put oneself into a rage). Smoking with rage, or rather with the ineffectual vapour of anger.

"A! Rignot, il est courageulx
Pour un homme avantureulx
Et terrible quant il se fume."
L'Aventureulx (a farce).
Fun To make fun of. To make a butt of; to ridicule; to play pranks on one. (Compare Irish fonn, delight.)
   Like fun. Thoroughly, energetically, with delight.

"On'y look at the dimmercrats, see what they've done,
Jest simply by stickin' together like fun."
Lowell: Biglow Papers (First series iv. stanza 5).
Fund The sinking fund is money set aside by the Government for paying off a part of the national debt. This money is "sunk," or withdrawn from circulation, for the bonds purchased by it are destroyed.

Funds or Public Funds. Money lent at interest to Government on Government security. It means the national stock, which is the foundation of its operations.
   A fall in the funds is when the quotation is lower than when it was last quoted.
   A rise in the funds is when the quotation is higher than it was before.
   To be interested in the funds is to have money in the public funds.
   To be out of funds, out of money.

Funeral means a torchlight procession (from the Latin, funis, a torch), because funerals among the Romans took place at night by torchlight, that magistrates and priests might not be violated by seeing a corpse, and so be prevented from performing their sacred duties.

"Funus [a funeral], from fune or funalia [torches] ... originally made of ropes." - Adams: Roman Antiquities (Funerals).
Funeral Banquet The custom of giving a feast at funerals came to us from the Romans, who not only feasted the friends of the deceased, but also distributed meat to the persons employed.

"Thrift, thrift, Horatio! the funeral baked meats
Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables."
Shakespeare: Hamlet, i. 2.
Funeral Games Public games were held both in Greece and Rome in honour of the honoured dead. Examples of this custom are numerous: as at the death of Azan (son of Arcas, father of the Arcadians); the games instituted by Hercules at the death of Pelops; those held at the death of Œdipus; the games held by Achilles in honour of his friend Patroclos (Homer: Iliad, book xxiii.); those held by Æneas in honour of his father Anchises (Virgil: Æneid, book v.); the games held in honour of Miltiades (Herodotos); those in honour of Brasidas (Thucydides); and those in honour of Timoleon mentioned by Plutarch. The spectators at these games generally dressed in white.

Fungoso A character in Every Man in His Humour, by Ben Jonson.

"Unlucky as Fungoso in the play."
Pope: Essay on Criticism (328).
Funk To be in a funk may be the Walloon "In de fonk zün, " literally to "be in the smoke." Colloquially to be in a state of trepidation from uncertainty or apprehension of evil.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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