Last modified on 4 March 2014, at 18:06

felo de se

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

Latin fel (felon) de (of) se (himself)

NounEdit

felo de se (uncountable)

  1. A crime committed against oneself, in particular an early twentieth-century euphemism for suicide

SynonymsEdit

QuotationsEdit

    • 1776, Thomas Paine, Common Sense - Chapter 1 - Page 7-8:
      How came the king by a power which the people are afraid to trust, and always obliged to check? Such a power could not be the gift of a wise people, neither can any power, which needs checking, be from God; yet the provision, which the constitution makes, supposes such a power to exist. But the provision is unequal to the task; the means either cannot or will not accomplish the end, and the whole affair is a felo de se; for as the greater weight will always carry up the less, and as all the wheels of a machine are put in motion by one, it only remains to know which power in the constitution has the most weight, for that will govern; and though the others, or a part of them, may clog, or, as the phrase is, check the rapidity of its motion, yet so long as they cannot stop it, their endeavors will be ineffectual; the first moving power will at last have its way, and what it wants in speed is supplied by time.