Words we don't hear enough of

Today, words beginning with the letter ‘F’. Try to get them into conversation. Try to get them into a Valentine’s message. Here they are:

Fey

This is a fantastic word, because it means so many things. Doomed, according to the Scots. To clean out, if you believe Tusser (whoever he is). Slightly mad, which is of course one of the best meanings. Suggestive of an elf, which is certainly how I’ve always taken it (with an undertone of effete). And finally, Chaucer thought it meant faith – but then he was, well, fey.

Funicular

Related to a cord or cable – most useful as in “I say, is that a funicular railway adorning the horizon? What larks!”, which can only really be carried off by a young bounder in Austria. Who is probably a bit fey.

Febrile

Feverish. I also use it to mean childish, in a slightly metaphorical, slightly wrong, fashion.

Happing effing!

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