fare thee well

Jana337

Senior Member
čeština
When you click on the addio (= bye) entry in the Italian dictionary, you will discover "fare thee well" and "fare you well". All other dictionaries I used define "fare thee well" as "a state of perfection" only.

Before I suggest that the addio entry be fixed, I'd like to check with you. Other than etymology of farewell, can "fare thee well" and "fare you well" actually have anything to do with "bye"?

Thank you. :)

Jana
 
  • Jana337

    Senior Member
    čeština
    Because they're leaving you, and you don't want anything bad to happen to them after they leave.
    Good but my question is (I guess I wasn't quite clear) whether "fare thee well" is a legitimate way to say "good bye" in English (it can be archaic for the sake of the dictionary) or whether the entry should be edited. :)

    Jana
     

    MissFit

    Senior Member
    Good but my question is (I guess I wasn't quite clear) whether "fare thee well" is a legitimate way to say "good bye" in English (it can be archaic for the sake of the dictionary) or whether the entry should be edited. :)

    Jana
    Yes, both phrases are a fancy or archaic way to say "good-bye." "Farewell" is a little less archaic variation. I didn't know they had any other meaning--"state of perfection" doesn't make any sense to me. "Fare thee well" is just a wish that someone will fare well--that things will go well for him.
     

    Jana337

    Senior Member
    čeština
    Yes, both phrases are a fancy or archaic way to say "good-bye." "Farewell" is a little less archaic variation. I didn't know they had any other meaning--"state of perfection" doesn't make any sense to me. "Fare thee well" is just a wish that someone will fare well--that things will go well for him.
    Here's an example. :)
    A condition of utmost perfection: played the part of the martyr to a fare-thee-well.
    Source

    Jana
     
    I didn't know it meant anything other than good-bye. "State of perfection" actually makes sense to me. One of our songs makes so much more sense now! It actually uses both the "good-bye" and "state of perfection" usage. Though "Farewell" is also used, so maybe "Fare thee well" in this case actually means state of perfection. It would make perfect sense. It's of course, in a poem format. "Farewell, Old Kenyon, Fare thee well." This building is...essential to Kenyon. It's what makes Kenyon....Kenyon. Add middle path, keep the Kokosing river, and you're set.
     

    river

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    Good but my question is (I guess I wasn't quite clear) whether "fare thee well" is a legitimate way to say "good bye" in English (it can be archaic for the sake of the dictionary) or whether the entry should be edited. :)

    Jana
    Don't be too quick to mess with it. I mean, you can't sing Polly Wolly Doodle without it.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    It only means "state of perfection" when it's used in the set phrase "to a fare-thee-well". I believe you will usually see the expression with the hyphens.

    (my post took forever to "post". Sorry. More has been added.)

    "Fare thee well" as "goodbye" is an archaic expression at this point. It could be said, but it would have a humorous or "ancient" sound to it for most AE speakers.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    I would expect to find it as a translation of addio in a late 18th or early 19th century translators' dictionary. It does not belong in a reference work for current usage, unless noted as obs. or archaic.
     

    Allaben

    New Member
    English
    Thanks for confirming my natural urge to say Fare thee well to colleagues. I knew it was archaic but when I checked the dictionary I couldn't find any definitions that complied with a farewell. So I really appreciate that I am not alone.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    The "state of perfection" meaning of "fare thee well" appears to exist only in American English; I have never encountered it in Britain.

    "Fare thee well" as a means of saying "goodbye" or "farewell" is still used very occasionally in Britain, either as an affectation or when an ordinary "goodbye" does not seem to be enough. Because of this usage, and the familiar "thee" (although few people in the southern half of England will recognise this), it is sometimes extended to "fare thee well, my friend".
     
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