A rearing Spanish mustang. Feaguing a horse can make it appear more lively.


Etymology 1Edit

From Dutch vegen(to sweep, strike), from Middle Dutch vēghen(to cleanse), from Old Dutch *fegōn(to cleanse), from Proto-Germanic *faginōną(to decorate, make beautiful), from Proto-Indo-European *pōḱ-, *pēḱ-(to clean, adorn). Cognate with German fegen(to cleanse, scour, sweep), Danish feje(to sweep), Swedish feja(to sweep), Icelandic fægja(to polish). More at fay, fair, fake.


feague ‎(third-person singular simple present feagues, present participle feaguing, simple past and past participle feagued)

  1. To increase the liveliness of a horse by inserting an irritant, such as a piece of peeled raw ginger or a live eel, in its fundament.
    • 2004, Terry Pratchett, Going Postal (Discworld; 33), London: Doubleday, ISBN 978-0-385-60342-3; republished London: Corgi Books, 2014, ISBN 978-0-552-16768-0, page 251:
      Run along to Hobson's Livery Stable and tell them I want a good fast horse, right? Something with a bit of fizz in its blood! Not some feagued-up old screw, and I know the difference! I want it here in half an hour! Off you go!
    • 2013, Patrick Taylor, An Irish Country Collection: Seven Complete Novels, New York, N.Y.: Forge Books, ISBN 978-1-4668-5430-7:
      “... One of those chaps over there said someone feagues his horse. What the hell’s ‘feague’?” / O’Reilly’s sides heaved. “Feague? You’d know it as a different expression, but it’s a trick unscrupulous horse dealers use to make a horse look better than it is. You can judge a horse’s spirit by the way it carries its tail.” / “That’s what he said.” / “So,” said O’Reilly, “just before the buyer comes to look at the beast, the dealer sticks a clove of ginger up its rectum. Feagues the poor creature.” / The thought made Barry wince.
  2. (obsolete) To beat or whip; to drive.
    • 1681, Thomas Otway, The Souldiers Fortune: A Comedy. Acted by Their Royal Highnesses Servants at the Duke's Theatre, London: Printed for R. Bentley and M. Magnes, at the Post-House in Russel-Street in Covent-Garden, OCLC 5291125; republished as “The Soldier's Fortune”, in The Works of Thomas Otway. In Three Volumes. With Notes, Critical and Explanatory, and a Life of the Author, by Thomas Thornton, Esq., volume II, London: Printed for T. Turner, 87, Strand, (successor to John MacKinlay); by B. M‛Millan, Bow Street, Covent Garden, 1813, OCLC 9503722, Act 5, page 391:
      Beau[gard]. Hark ye, ye curs, keep off from snapping at my heels, or I shall so feague ye.
    • 1739, Charles Sackville, 6th Earl of Dorset, “A Faithful Catalogue of our Most Eminent Ninnies. Written by the Earl of Dorset in the Year 1683.”, in Poems by the Earls of Roscomon and Dorset; the Dukes of Devonshire, Buckingham, &c., volume II, London: [s.n.], OCLC 833819061, page 36:
      Her noble Proteſtant has got a Flail, / Young, large, and fit to feague her briny Tail; / But now, poor Wench, ſhe lies as ſhe would burſt, / Sometimes with Brandy, and ſometimes with Luſt. [Note: although in this quotation feague ostensibly means "to beat or whip", sense 4 below is alluded to.]
    • 1792, Thomas Holcroft, Anna St. Ives: A Novel, volume III, London: Printed for Shepperson and Reynolds, No. 137, Oxford-Street, OCLC 642417602, page 128:
      I begind to ſmell a rat! And there I talked with t'other Miſſee. I a ferretted and a feagued and a worked and a wormed it all out of ſhe.
    • 1890, Walter Scott, The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, 1825–32, from the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford, Edinburgh: David Douglas, OCLC 80639712, page 238:
      February 22.—Very rheumatic. I e'en turned my table to the fire and feagued it away, as Bayes says.
  3. (obsolete) To subject to some harmful scheme; to ‘do in’.
    • 1672, William Wycherley, Love in a Wood, or, St James's Park. A Comedy, as it is Acted at the Theatre Royal, by his Majesties Servants, London: Printed by J. M[acock] for H[enry] Herringman, at the sign of the Blew Anchor, in the Lower-Walk of the New Exchange, OCLC 863466563, Act I, scene i; republished as Love in a Wood, or, St James's Park. A Comedy. As it is Acted by their Majesties Servants, London: Printed by T[homas] Warren for Henry Herringman, and are to be sold by R. Bentley, J[acob] Tonson, F. Saunders, and T. Bennet, 1694, OCLC 18111987, page 7:
      Sir Sim[on Addlepot]. I will carry the Widow to the French Houſe. / [Mrs.] Joyn[er]. If ſhe will go. / Sir Sim. If ſhe will go? why, did you ever know a Widow refuſe a treat? no more than a Lawyer a Fee, Faith and troth, yet I know too, No treat, ſweet words, good meen, but ſly Intrigue, That muſt at length, the jilting Widow feague.
    • 1690, T. D. (Thomas d'Urfey), “Canto II: Monday's Walk”, in Collin's Walk through London and VVestminster, a Poem in Burlesque, London: Printed for Rich[ard] Parker at the Unicorn under the Royal Exchange in Cornhill, and Abel Roper near the Devil-Tavern in Fleet-street, OCLC 11768239, page 84:
      [W]hen Cataline a League / Had made[,] the Senators to fegue, / And ſtrumpet had told Marcus Tully, / The cloſe intentions of that Bully, / He not ſo much the cauſe revenging / O'th'State, as t'hinder his own ſwinging, / Made the beſt ſpeech to quell that ſtrife, / (Tis ſaid) that e're he made in's Life, []
  4. (obsolete) To have sexual intercourse with, to fuck.

Etymology 2Edit

Possibly from Dutch feeks, probably from vegen(to sweep, strike): see etymology of feague (verb) above. Compare Middle English vecke(old woman).


feague ‎(plural feagues)

  1. (obsolete) An unkempt, slatternly person.
    • 1664, Henry Bold, Poems Lyrique, Macaronique, Heroique, &c., London: Printed for Henry Brome [...], OCLC 12212826:
      So Jack enters: / And trips up staires, as quick, as come penny, / Where we find, what's before good company! / Three female idle feaks, who long'd for pigs head.
    • 1955, Joseph T[wadell] Shipley, Dictionary of Early English, New York, N.Y.: Philosophical Library, OCLC 319511, page 261:
      Feague (also feak, q.v.) as a noun, was used of a slattern, a sluttish woman.

Alternative formsEdit