Friday, October 28, 2011


TileHead’s Word of the Day for 28 October 2011

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FEY  (adj. -ER, -EST)

  1. (adj.) having or displaying an otherworldly, strange, or magical aspect or quality
  2. (adj.) appearing crazy or touched, as if under a spell
  3. (adj.) fated to die; doomed; full of a sense of impending death
  4. (adj.) having visionary power; clairvoyant
  5. (adj.) quaintly unconventional; campy

Useful information for game players:
  • Front hooks: (none)
  • Back hooks: (none)
  • Anagrams: (none)
  • Longer extensions: feyER, feyLY, wiFEY, feyEST, feyNESS, feyNESSES, HOUSEWIfey
  • Wraparounds: WIfeyS
  • Other Spellings: (none)
  • Related Forms: (none)

This is a powerful little word with a range of meanings mostly related to a sense of the otherworldly, deathly, or magical.  It derives from a weighty Old English word fæge, which meant “fated to die” and was used, for example, several times in the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf (written c. 7th century).  The “doomed to die” meaning of FEY continued to be common for several hundred years, as in an old Scottish ballad that includes the line “there'll nae man die but him that's fey.”  In modern writing, the word is often employed in more ironic or whimsical senses, such as in Dorothy Burnham’s Through Dooms of Love (1969): “your wife would be perfect for the part; she's got that fey look as though she's had breakfast with a leprechaun.”

Recapping this week’s words: ELDRITCH, THANATOS, SABBAT, and FEY

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