fondly (adj.) Look up fondly at
mid-14c., "foolishly," from fond + -ly (2). Formerly sometimes in a bad sense, "with indiscreet or excessive affection" (1762). Meaning "affectionately" is from 1590s.
fondness (n.) Look up fondness at
late 14c., "foolishness," from fond + -ness.
fondue (n.) Look up fondue at
1878, from French cooking term fondue "a cheese-pudding," literally "melted" (15c.), noun use of fem. of fondu, past participle adjective from fondre "to melt" (see found (v.2)).
font (n.1) Look up font at
"water basin," especially used in baptism, late Old English, from Latin fons (genitive fontis) "fountain" (see fountain), especially in Medieval Latin fons baptismalis "baptismal font." The word is sometimes used poetically for "a fountain; a source."
font (n.2) Look up font at
"complete set of characters of a particular face and size of type," 1680s (also fount), earlier "a casting" (1570s), from Middle French fonte "a casting," noun use of fem. past participle of fondre "to melt" (see found (v.2)). So called because all the letters in a given set were cast at the same time.
fontanelle (n.) Look up fontanelle at
also fontanel, 1540s, "hollow between two muscles," from French fontanelle (16c.), from Old French fontenele "small source, fountain, spring; fontanelle," diminutive of fontaine "spring" (see fountain), on analogy of the dent in the earth where a spring arises. In reference to the "hollow" in a baby's skull, it is first recorded 1741.
food (n.) Look up food at
Middle English foode, fode, from Old English foda "food, nourishment; fuel," also figurative, from Proto-Germanic *fodon (source also of Swedish föda, Danish föde, Gothic fodeins), from Germanic *fod- "food," from PIE *pat-, extended form of root *pa- "to tend, keep, pasture, to protect, to guard, to feed" (source also of Greek pateisthai "to feed;" Latin pabulum "food, fodder," panis "bread," pasci "to feed," pascare "to graze, pasture, feed," pastor "shepherd," literally "feeder;" Avestan pitu- "food;" Old Church Slavonic pasti "feed cattle, pasture;" Russian pishcha "food").

Food-chain is from 1917. Food-poisoning attested by 1864; food-processor in the kitchen appliance sense from 1973; food-stamp (n.) is from 1962.
foodie (n.) Look up foodie at
"gourmet," 1982, from food + -ie.
foodoholic (n.) Look up foodoholic at
1965, formed irregularly from food + -aholic.
foodstuff (n.) Look up foodstuff at
"substance or material suitable for food," 1870, from food + stuff (n.). Related: Foodstuffs.
fool (n.1) Look up fool at
early 13c., "silly, stupid, or ignorant person," from Old French fol "madman, insane person; idiot; rogue; jester," also "blacksmith's bellows," also an adjective meaning "mad, insane" (12c., Modern French fou), from Medieval Latin follus (adj.) "foolish," from Latin follis "bellows, leather bag" (see follicle).

The sense evolution probably is from Vulgar Latin use of follis in a sense of "windbag, empty-headed person." Compare also Sanskrit vatula- "insane," literally "windy, inflated with wind." But some sources suggest evolution from Latin folles "puffed cheeks" (of a buffoon), a secondary sense from plural of follis. One makes the "idiot" sense original, the other the "jester" sense.
The word has in mod.Eng. a much stronger sense than it had at an earlier period; it has now an implication of insulting contempt which does not in the same degree belong to any of its synonyms, or to the derivative foolish. [OED]
Also used in Middle English for "sinner, rascal, impious person" (late 13c.). Meaning "jester, court clown" in English is attested c. 1300, though it is not always possible to tell whether the reference is to a professional entertainer counterfeiting mental weakness or an amusing lunatic, and the notion of the fool sage whose sayings are ironically wise is also in English from c. 1300. The French word probably also got into English via its borrowing in the Scandinavian languages of the vikings (Old Norse fol, Old Danish fool, fol).
There is no foole to the olde foole ["Proverbs of John Heywood," 1546]
To make a fool of (someone) "cause to appear ridiculous" is from 1620s (make fool "to deceive, make (someone) appear a fool" is from early 15c.). Feast of Fools (early 14c., from Medieval Latin festum stultorum) was the burlesque festival celebrated in some churches on New Year's Day in medieval times. Fool's gold "iron pyrite" is from 1829. Fool's paradise "illusory state of happiness" is from mid-15c. Fool-trap is from 1690s. Foolosopher, a useful insult, is in a 1549 translation of Erasmus. Fool's ballocks is described in OED as "an old name" for the green-winged orchid. Fool-killer "imaginary personage invested with authority to put to death anybody notoriously guilty of great folly" is from 1851, American English.
Fool killer, a great American myth imagined by editors, who feign that his or its services are greatly needed, and frequently alluded to as being "around" or "in town" when some special act of folly calls for castigation. Whether the fool-killer be an individual or an instrument cannot always be gathered from the dark phraseology in which he or it is alluded to; but the weight of authority would sanction the impersonal interpretation. [Walsh, "Handy-Book of Literary Curiosities," 1892]
fool (v.) Look up fool at
mid-14c., "to be foolish, act the fool," from fool (n.1). The transitive meaning "make a fool of" is recorded from 1590s. Sense of "beguile, cheat" is from 1640s. Also as a verb 16c.-17c. was foolify. Related: Fooled; fooling. Fool around is 1875 in the sense of "pass time idly," 1970s in sense of "have sexual adventures."
fool (adj.) Look up fool at
c. 1200, "sinful, wicked; lecherous" (a fool woman (c. 1300) was "a prostitute"), from fool (n.1). Meaning "foolish, silly" is mid-13c. In modern use considered U.S. colloquial.
fool (n.2) Look up fool at
type of custard dish, 1590s, of uncertain origin. The food also was called trifle, which may be the source of the name (via verb and noun senses of fool). OED utterly rejects derivation from Old French fole "a pressing."
fool-proof (adj.) Look up fool-proof at
also foolproof, 1902, American English, "safe against the incompetence of a fool," from fool (n.1) + adjectival sense from proof (n.).
foolery (n.) Look up foolery at
1550s, from fool (n.1) + -ery.
foolhardy (adj.) Look up foolhardy at
also fool-hardy, mid-13c., folhardi, from fol "fool" (see fool (n.1) + hardi "bold" (see hardy) hence "foolishly brave, bold without judgement or moderation." Compare Old French fol hardi. Related: foolhardiness (mid-13c.); Middle English also had as a noun foolhardiment (mid-15c.).
fooling (n.) Look up fooling at
c. 1600, verbal noun from fool (v.).
foolish (adj.) Look up foolish at
early 14c., from fool (n.1) + -ish. Older adjectives in Middle English were fool (c. 1200); folly (c. 1300). Old English words for this were dysig, stunt, dol. Related: Foolishly; foolishness.
foolishness (n.) Look up foolishness at
late 15c., "quality of being foolish," from foolish + -ness. From 1530s as "a foolish practice."
foolocracy (n.) Look up foolocracy at
1832, from fool (n.) + -ocracy.
foolscap (n.) Look up foolscap at
also fool's-cap, 1630s, "type of cap worn by a jester;" see fool (n.1) + cap (n.). From c. 1700 as a type of writing paper, so called because it originally was watermarked with a jester's cap.
foosball (n.) Look up foosball at
debuted in U.S. 1963 and was a craze on some college campuses for a few years thereafter. Said to have been designed c. 1930s in Switzerland. The name is presumably from the pronunciation of Fußball, the German form of (Association) football.
foot (n.) Look up foot at
"terminal part of the leg of a vertebrate animal," Old English fot "foot," from Proto-Germanic *fot (source also of Old Frisian fot, Old Saxon fot, Old Norse fotr, Danish fod, Swedish fot, Dutch voet, Old High German fuoz, German Fuß, Gothic fotus "foot"), from PIE root *ped- (1) "a foot" (source also of Avestan pad-; Sanskrit pad-, accusative padam "foot;" Greek pos, Attic pous, genitive podos; Latin pes, genitive pedis "foot;" Lithuanian padas "sole," peda "footstep"). Plural form feet is an instance of i-mutation.

The linear measure was in Old English (the exact length has varied over time), this being considered the length of a man's foot; a unit of measure used widely and anciently. In this sense the plural is often foot. The current inch and foot are implied from measurements in 12c. English churches (Flinders Petrie, "Inductive Metrology"), but the most usual length of a "foot" in medieval England was the foot of 13.2 inches common throughout the ancient Mediterranean. The Anglo-Saxon foot apparently was between the two. All three correspond to units used by the Romans, and possibly all three lengths were picked up by the Anglo-Saxons from the Romano-Britons. "That the Saxon units should descend to mediæval times is most probable, as the Normans were a ruling, and not a working, class." [Flinders Petrie, 1877]. The medieval Paul's Foot (late 14c.) was a measuring standard cut into the base of a column at the old St. Paul's cathedral in London. The metrical foot (late Old English, translating Latin pes, Greek pous in the same sense) is commonly taken to represent one rise and one fall of a foot: keeping time according to some, dancing according to others.

In Middle English also "a person" (c. 1200), hence non-foot "nobody." Meaning "bottom or lowest part of anything eminent or upright" is from c. 1200. Of a bed, grave, etc., from c. 1300. On foot "by walking" is from c. 1300. To get off on the wrong foot is from 1905 (the right foot is by 1907); to put one's best foot foremost first recorded 1849 (Shakespeare has the better foot before, 1596); Middle English had evil-foot (adv.) "through mischance, unluckily." To put one's foot in (one's) mouth "say something stupid" is attested by 1942; the expression put (one's) foot in something "make a mess of it" is from 1823. To have one foot in the grave "be near death" is from 1844. Colloquial exclamation my foot! expressing "contemptuous contradiction" [OED] is attested by 1923, probably euphemistic for my ass in the same sense, which dates to 1796 (also see eyewash).
foot (v.) Look up foot at
c. 1400, "to dance," also "to move or travel on foot," from foot (n.). From mid-15c. as "make a footing or foundation." To foot a bill "pay the entirety of" is attested from 1848, from the process of tallying the expenses and writing the figure at the bottom ("foot") of the sheet; foot (v.) as "add up and set the sum at the foot of" is from late 15c. (compare footnote (n.)). The Old English verb gefotian meant "to hasten up." Related: Footed; footing.
foot-board (n.) Look up foot-board at
1766, from foot (n.) + board (n.1).
foot-bridge (n.) Look up foot-bridge at
c. 1500, from foot (n.) + bridge (n.1).
foot-dragging (n.) Look up foot-dragging at
"deliberate slowness," 1966, from foot (n.) + present participle adjective from drag (v.).
foot-hill (n.) Look up foot-hill at
also foot-hill, "a hill that leads up to a mountain," 1850, American English, from foot (n.) + hill (n.).
foot-hills (n.) Look up foot-hills at
also foothills; see foothill.
foot-locker (n.) Look up foot-locker at
1905, U.S. military, from foot (n.) + locker.
foot-path (n.) Look up foot-path at
also footpath 1520s, from foot (n.) + path.
foot-race (n.) Look up foot-race at
1660s, from foot (n.) + race (n.1).
foot-rail (n.) Look up foot-rail at
1861, from foot (n.) + rail (n.1).
foot-rest (n.) Look up foot-rest at
1844, from foot (n.) + rest (n.).
foot-soldier (n.) Look up foot-soldier at
1620s, from foot (n.) + soldier (n.).
foot-sore (adj.) Look up foot-sore at
also footsore, 1719, from foot (n.) + sore (adj.).
footage (n.) Look up footage at
"the length of film used in a scene, etc.," 1916, from foot (n.) as a measure of length + -age. Earlier used to describe a piece-work system to pay miners.
football (n.) Look up football at
open-air game involving kicking a ball, c. 1400; in reference to the inflated ball used in the game, mid-14c. ("Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe," Octavian I manuscript, c. 1350), from foot (n.) + ball (n.1). Forbidden in a Scottish statute of 1424. One of Shakespeare's insults is "you base foot-ball player" [Lear I.iv]. Ball-kicking games date back to the Roman legions, at least, but the sport seems first to have risen to a national obsession in England, c. 1630. Figurative sense of "something idly kicked around, something subject to hard use and many vicissitudes" is by 1530s.

Rules of the game first regularized at Cambridge, 1848; soccer (q.v.) split off in 1863. The U.S. style (known to some in England as "stop-start rugby with padding") evolved gradually 19c.; the first true collegiate game is considered to have been played Nov. 6, 1869, between Princeton and Rutgers, at Rutgers, but the rules there were more like soccer. A rematch at Princeton Nov. 13, with the home team's rules, was true U.S. football. Both were described as foot-ball at Princeton.
Then twenty-five of the best players in college were sent up to Brunswick to combat with the Rutgers boys. Their peculiar way of playing this game proved to Princeton an insurmountable difficulty; .... Two weeks later Rutgers sent down the same twenty-five, and on the Princeton grounds, November 13th, Nassau played her game; the result was joyous, and entirely obliterated the stigma of the previous defeat. ["Typical Forms of '71" by the Princeton University Class of '72, 1869]
footer (n.) Look up footer at
c. 1600, "a pedestrian;" 1781, "a kick at football;" 1863, British student slang, "the game of football;" see foot (n.), football, -er.
footfall (n.) Look up footfall at
c. 1600, "the tread of the foot;" see foot (n.) + fall (n). Perhaps first in Shakespeare.
foothold (n.) Look up foothold at
1620s, from foot (n.) + hold (n.). Figurative use by 1650s; "that which sustains the feet firmly," hence "stable ground from which to act."
footing (n.) Look up footing at
late 13c., "a base, foundation;" late 14c., "position of the feet on the ground, stance," a gerundive formation from foot (n.). Figurative meaning "firm or secure position" is from 1580s; that of "condition on which anything is established" is from 1650s.
footle (v.) Look up footle at
"to trifle," 1892, from dialectal footer "to trifle," footy "mean, paltry" (1752), perhaps from French se foutre "to care nothing," from Old French futer "to copulate with," from Latin futuere "have sex," originally "to strike, thrust" (see confute). But OED derives the English dialect words from foughty (c. 1600), from Dutch vochtig or Danish fugtig "damp, musty;" related to fog (n.).
footless (adj.) Look up footless at
late 14c., from foot (n.) + -less.
footlights (n.) Look up footlights at
"row of lights placed in front of a stage" (formerly called floats), 1836, from foot (n.) of the stage + light (n.).
footloose (adj.) Look up footloose at
1690s, "free to move the feet, unshackled," from foot (n.) + loose (adj.). Figurative sense of "free to act as one pleases" is from 1873.
footman (n.) Look up footman at
c. 1300, "foot soldier;" late 14c., "one who goes on foot," from foot (n.) + man (n.). As a personal attendant, originally one who ran before or alongside his master's carriage, announcing its arrival (and keeping it from spilling). The non-jogging man-in-waitingt sense is from c. 1700, though the running footmen still were in service mid-18c. From foot (n.) + man (n.).
footnote (n.) Look up footnote at
also foot-note, 1841, from foot (n.) "lower end of a document" (1660s) + note (n.). So called from its original position at the foot of a page. Also sometimes formerly bottom note. As a verb, from 1864. Related: Footnoted; footnoting.
footpad (n.) Look up footpad at
"highway robber," 1680s, from foot (n.) + pad "pathway," from Middle Dutch pad "way, path," from Proto-Germanic *patha- "way, path" (see path).