Q: "fannying around" from French 'faineant'?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sat Dec 15 20:05:39 UTC 2012

A correspondent claims "Fannying around' is an exact equivalent of
the meaning of 'faineant' in French, despite OED."

The OED claims for "fanny, v.2" -- "slang (chiefly Brit.); intr. to
fanny about (also around) : to mess around, waste time; to act in an
unproductive, ineffectual, or dithering manner" -- the Etymology  "<
fanny n.4." [backside].

Who's correct?


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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list