Discussion in 'English Only' started by . 1, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. . 1 Banned

    Ferntree Gully
    Australian Australia
    G'day Englishist@s,

    I would like to conduct a non dictionary or reference question.

    I know what fey means. I have read many dictionary definitions so I am not interested in finding what has been about the word by other people.

    What do you think of when you see or hear fey?

  2. Orange Blossom Senior Member

    U.S.A. English
    Two possibilities depending on context:

    1) Has a supernatural or sixth sense. Is able to communicate with or sense the spiritual realm.

    2) Has a sense of one's own impending death even though in a state of complete health. Somewhat related to sentence definition one, but only in the sense of personal doom or fate.

    Orange Blossom
  3. . 1 Banned

    Ferntree Gully
    Australian Australia
    Thanks mate.
    That's exactly what I am looking for.
    Dictionaries can sometimes swallow their own tales.

  4. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    To me, "fey" is something related to the fairy world. (I haven't looked up a definition so my misconceptions won't by tainted by the dictionary. :) ) It has to do with magical, supernatural - nymphs and faeries, leprechauns, elves - that kind of world.

    "Fey" is also used sometimes to mean "effeminate", in my experience. It was the word my mother used before there was a different meaning for "gay".

    I don't have any sense of "knowing one's impending death" at all with the word. I must have missed that use of the word.
  5. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    Impish or ethereal.
  6. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    I'm with James and effeminacy. I may be influenced by the use of the word in Iolanthe, about which I had to write at length for a journal about five years ago. The noun a fey meaning a fairy also may be influencing what cuchu will recognize as the emotional climate of my perception of the word.
  7. Joelline

    Joelline Senior Member

    USA (W. Pennsylvania)
    American English
    Word association:
    Morgan la Fée--white and black magic, spells, sorcery, Camelot, etc.

    Audrey Hepburn (!)--the impish (thanks Cuchu) Holly-go-Lightly; charming (literally and figuratively)

    People who are non-threateningly insane; those who wander around talking to themselves, sometimes, bag ladies.

    Enya's Celtic music.
  8. . 1 Banned

    Ferntree Gully
    Australian Australia
    This is all wonderful.
    Please continue.
    I am growing to love this fey word more and more.

  9. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Fey - Celtic - Mystic ><<>>< Mystic - Celtic - Fey

    Fey is intuition, insight, first sight, second sight.

    Fey is co-operation, confrontation, but you can never tell which is which.

    WMPG is fey.

    Fey is power.
  10. Orange Blossom Senior Member

    U.S.A. English
    What is WMPG? It sounds like the letters to a radio or television station. Is it devoted to playing Celtic music?

    Orange Blossom
  11. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    WMPG is someone who features from time to time in my posts because of my observations about the way she learns English and uses English. She is a small girl who is six years, eleven months and two weeks old.
    WMPG is the World's Most Perfect Grand-daughter.
    Not that I am prejudiced in any way, of course.
  12. . 1 Banned

    Ferntree Gully
    Australian Australia
    It is a fey child indeed to be able to maintain a constant and so precise age.

  13. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    Hi .,, I forgot to say that one of the feys in Iolanthe is only a fairy from the waist upwards, or downwards; I can't remember which.

    You might also be interested in the relationship between feys and jinn.
  14. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    English - England
    This is the sort of sense in which I have heard the word used. Perhaps not so much 'effeminate' as 'effete'.
  15. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    This septic isle!
    NW Englandish English
    (I just used this word and thought I'd look it up in the dictionary to see what it said, and see if there were any threads about it ...)

    I'm sort of vaguely aware that it has 'something to do with fairies and mythological-type stuff' ... but for me the primary meaning is as above.
  16. Matching Mole

    Matching Mole Senior Member

    England, English
    I'd tend to associate it with the "effete" sense primarily, too. Another word to which it is compared is "affected".

    I wonder if the sense referring to "fairies" came about from a conflation of the word "fey" (which did original mean doomed or on the point of death, as well as timid or cowardly) with "fay" (or fae), from which fairy derives. The latter comes from the Latin for "fated", and the former is Teutonic in origin.

    It's interesting though that the both have this sense of being fated or doomed, despite their diverse origins. Oh and, effette comes from the Latin meaning, in a transferred sense, "worn out", which somewhat brings us back to "close to death".
  17. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    Probably due to my being on the left side of the Atlantic, I had never heard "fey" as a real word and as such, first associated it with comedy writer and performer Tina Fey, who is a dead ringer for Sarah Palin (not to mention doing a wicked impersonation thereof)
  18. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    This septic isle!
    NW Englandish English
    :eek:I thought fay was just a variant spelling of fey, Mr.Mole ~ I hadn't realized they were separate words.

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