Last modified on 9 August 2014, at 03:43
See also: fág, fàg, and fäg

English

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

Probably from fag end (remnant), from Middle English fagge (flap)

Noun

fag (plural fags)

  1. (US, technical) In textile inspections, a rough or coarse defect in the woven fabric.
  2. (UK, Ireland, Australia, colloquial, dated in US and Canada) A cigarette.
    • 1968 January 25, The Bulletin, Oregon,
      He′d Phase Out Fag Industry
      Los Angeles (UPI) - A UCLA professor has called for the phasing out of the cigarette industry by converting tobacco acres to other crops.
    • 2001, Oliver Sacks, Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood, Alfred A. Knopf (2001), 15,
      All of them, like my mother, were heavy smokers, and after warming themselves by the fire, they would sit on the sofa and smoke, lobbing their web fag ends into the fire.
    • 2011, Bill Marsh, Great Australian Shearing Stories, unnumbered page,
      So I started off by asking the shearers if they minded if I took a belly off while they were having a fag. Then after a while they were asking me. They′d say, ‘Do yer wanta take over fer a bit while I have a fag?’ And then I got better and I′d finish the sheep and they′d say ‘Christ, I haven′t finished me bloody fag yet, yer may as well shear anotherie.’
  3. (UK, obsolete, colloquial) The worst part or end of a thing.
    • 1788, William Perry editor, The Royal standard English dictionary‎[1]:
      Fag, s. the worst part or end of anything.
Synonyms
Translations

Etymology 2

Probably alteration of flag (droop, tire)

Noun

fag (plural fags)

  1. (UK, colloquial) A chore; an arduous and tiresome task.
    • 1818, Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey, 1992, Complete Works of Jane Austen, unnumbered page,
      We are sadly off in the country; not but what we have very good shops in Salisbury, but it is so far to go—eight miles is a long way; Mr. Allen says it is nine, measured nine; but I am sure it cannot be more than eight; and it is such a fag—I come back tired to death.
  2. (UK, archaic, colloquial) In many British boarding schools, a younger student acting as a servant for senior students.
    • 1791, Simon Sapling (pseudonym), Richard Cumberland, The Observer: A Collection of Moral, Literary and Familiar Essays, Volume 4, page 67,
      I had the character at ſchool of being the very beſt fag that ever came into it.

Verb

fag (third-person singular simple present fags, present participle fagging, simple past and past participle fagged)

  1. (transitive, colloquial, used mainly in passive form) To make exhausted, tired out.
  2. (intransitive, colloquial) To droop; to tire.
    • a. 1829, G. Mackenzie, Lives, quoted in 1829, "Fag", entry in The London Encyclopaedia: Or, Universal Dictionary, Volume 9, page 12,
      Creighton with-held his force 'till the Italian began to fag, and then brought him to the ground.
  3. (UK, archaic, colloquial) For a younger student to act as a servant for senior students in many British boarding schools.

Etymology 3

From faggot.

Noun

fag (plural fags)

  1. (vulgar, offensive) A homosexual person.
    • 1921 John Lind, The Female Impersonators (Historical Documentation of American Slang v. 1, A-G, edited by Jonathan E. Lighter (New York: Random House, 1994) page 716.
      Androgynes known as “fairies,” “fags,” or “brownies.”
    • 1926, American Neurological Association; New York Neurological Association et al, Journal of nervous and mental disease, volume 94, page 467: 
      In schizophrenics, however, the homosexual outlet is sooner or later ... ideas that strangers call them "cs," "fairy," "woman," "fag," " fruit," etc.). ...
    • 2006, Lynn Mickelsen, Confusion Turned to Chaos
      A couple of days later, Trisha tells Madelyn there is a rumor going around that she's a fag.
    • 2008, Paul Ryan Brewer, Value war: public opinion and the politics of gay rights[2], ISBN 0742562115, 9780742562110, page 60:
      ... what appeared to be overt appeals to anti-gay sentiment. When House Majority Whip Dick Armey referred to fellow Congressman Barney Frank as "Barney Fag" in 1995, he suffered a barage of negative publicity that prompted him to explain his choice of words as a slip of the tongue.
    1. (colloquial, disparaging) In particular, a conspicuously non-straight-acting homosexual male.
  2. (US, vulgar, offensive) An annoying person.
    Why did you do that, you fag?
Usage notes

In North America, fag is often considered highly offensive, although some gay people have tried to reclaim it. (Compare faggot.) The humorousness of derived terms fag hag and fag stag is sometimes considered to lessen their offensiveness.

Derived terms
Synonyms
Translations

Aromanian

Alternative forms

Etymology

From Latin fagus.

Noun

fag

  1. beech

Danish

Etymology

From German Fach (compartment, drawer, subject), from Old High German fah (wall).

Noun

fag n (singular definite faget, plural indefinite fag)

  1. subject
  2. trade, craft, profession
  3. bay

Inflection


Icelandic

Pronunciation

Noun

fag n (genitive singular fags, nominative plural fög)

  1. subject (particular area of study)

Declension


Lojban

Rafsi

fag

  1. rafsi of fagri.

Norwegian

Noun

fag

  1. subject (school)

Polish

Noun

fag m

  1. phage

Romanian

fag

Etymology 1

From Latin fāgus.

Noun

fag m (plural fagi)

  1. beech (tree of Fagus family)
Declension

Etymology 2

From Latin favus.

Noun

fag n (plural faguri)

  1. (archaic) honeycomb
Synonyms