[Ads-l] fewmet

Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Thu Mar 24 11:39:27 UTC 2016


It is in the OED. It's marked as "Obs. or arch." and defined as "The excrement (of a deer). rare in sing."

It's also in the Middle English Dictionary: "fumes (n.) [ OF fumées.] Excrement, dung (of a game animal, specif. of the hart).

Regarding the magical animals, Wikipedia actually says: "In fantasy fiction and role playing games, fewmets are the droppings of dragons or other mythical creatures." I don't know how prevalent this sense is, but it may be the word has gained a second life in fantasy and RPG.

My first, and only, encounter with the word was in Harvard Lampoon's "Bored of the Rings": the line, IIRC, is "The fewmets have met the fire." (I read T.H. White ages ago, but I don't recall the word.)


-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Benjamin Barrett
Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2016 12:29 AM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: fewmet

Fewmet is not on the Oxford Dictionary site. Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/fewmet <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/fewmet>) and Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fewmets) both have it, the latter saying that fewmets are the droppings of dragons or other magical creatures. My recollection is that I learned it from T. H. White’s “The Once and Future King,” which is quoted in the Wikipedia article.

Benjamin Barrett
Formerly of Seattle, WA
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The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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