See also: fág, fàg, and -fag

English

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /fæɡ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æɡ

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 wet 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
Derived terms
Translations

Etymology 2

Akin to flag (droop, tire). Compare Dutch vaak (sleepiness).

Noun

fag (plural fags)

  1. (Britain, dated, colloquial) A chore: an arduous and tiresome task.
    • 1817 December, [Jane Austen], Northanger Abbey; published in Northanger Abbey: And Persuasion. [], volume (please specify |volume=I or II), London: John Murray, [], 1818, OCLC 318384910:
      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. (Britain, education, archaic, colloquial) A younger student acting as a servant for senior students.
    • 1791, Richard Cumberland, The Observer, Vol. 4, page 67:
      I had the character at ſchool of being the very beſt fag that ever came into it.
    • 1848 November – 1850 December, William Makepeace Thackeray, The History of Pendennis. [], volume (please specify |volume=I or II), London: Bradbury and Evans, [], published 1849–1850, OCLC 2057953:
      “He was my fag at Eton,” Warrington said. “I ought to have licked him a little more.”
    • 1991, Stephen Fry, The Liar, page 18:
      A gang of fags was mobbing about by the notice-boards. They fell silent as he approached. He patted one of them on the head. ‘Pretty children,’ he sighed, digging into his waistcoat pocket and pulling out a handful of change. ‘Tonight you shall eat.’ Scattering the coins at their feet, he moved on.

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. (intransitive, Britain, education, archaic, colloquial) For a younger student to act as a servant for senior students in many British boarding schools.
  4. (transitive, Britain, education, archaic, colloquial) To have (a younger student) act as a servant in this way.
    • 1887, Francis Bacon, ‎Richard Whately, Essays (page 63)
      It is everywhere observed that a liberated slave is apt to make a merciless master, and that boys who have been cruelly fagged at school are cruel faggers.
  5. (intransitive, Britain, archaic) To work hard, especially on menial chores.
    • 1847, Charlotte Brontë, chapter 1, in Jane Eyre[2], HTML edition:
      This state of things should have been to me a paradise of peace, accustomed as I was to a life of ceaseless reprimand and thankless fagging; but, in fact, my racked nerves were now in such a state that no calm could soothe, and no pleasure excite them agreeably.
    • 1849 May – 1850 November, Charles Dickens, The Personal History of David Copperfield, London: Bradbury & Evans, [], published 1850, OCLC 558196156:
      I walked about the streets where the best shops for ladies were, I haunted the Bazaar like an unquiet spirit, I fagged through the Park again and again, long after I was quite knocked up.

Derived terms

Etymology 3

From faggot.

Noun

fag (plural fags)

  1. (chiefly US, Canada, vulgar, usually offensive, sometimes endearing) A homosexual man, especially (usually derogatory) an especially effeminate or unusual one.
    • 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[3], 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, →ISBN, 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.
  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.

Synonyms
Derived terms
Translations

Anagrams


Aromanian

Alternative forms

Etymology

From Latin fāgus. Compare Romanian fag.

Noun

fag m (plural fadz)

  1. beech

Derived terms

Related terms


Danish

Etymology

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

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /faːˀɣ/, [ˈfæˀj], [ˈfæˀ], IPA(key): [ˈfɑw-] (in derivatives)

Noun

fag n (singular definite faget, plural indefinite fag)

  1. subject (of study)
  2. trade, craft, profession
  3. bay (the distance between two vertical or horizontal supports in roofs and walls)

Derived terms

Inflection


Icelandic

Etymology

Borrowed from Danish fag, itself a borrowing from German Fach.

Pronunciation

Noun

fag n (genitive singular fags, nominative plural fög)

  1. subject (particular area of study)

Declension

Synonyms


Norwegian Bokmål

Etymology

From Middle Low German or German Low German fak; compare with German Fach.

Noun

fag n (definite singular faget, indefinite plural fag, definite plural faga or fagene)

  1. subject (e.g., at school)
  2. profession, trade, discipline

Derived terms

References


Norwegian Nynorsk

Etymology

From Middle Low German or German Low German fak; compare with German Fach.

Noun

fag n (definite singular faget, indefinite plural fag, definite plural faga)

  1. subject (e.g., at school)
  2. profession, trade, discipline

Derived terms

References


Polish

Pronunciation

Noun

fag m anim

  1. phage

Declension

Further reading

  • fag in Wielki słownik języka polskiego, Instytut Języka Polskiego PAN
  • fag in Polish dictionaries at PWN

Romanian

 
fag

Etymology 1

From Latin fāgus, from Proto-Italic *fāgos, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰeh₂ǵos (beech tree).

Noun

fag m (plural fagi)

  1. beech (tree of genus Fagus)
Declension
Related terms

Etymology 2

From Latin favus, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰōw- (to swell, grow, thrive, be, live, dwell).

Noun

fag n (plural faguri)

  1. (archaic) honeycomb
Synonyms

Welsh

Etymology 1

Pronunciation

Noun

fag

  1. Soft mutation of bag.

Mutation

Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
bag fag mag unchanged
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Etymology 2

Pronunciation

Noun

fag

  1. Soft mutation of mag.

Mutation

Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
mag fag unchanged unchanged
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.