See family: hands off!
See: egg; give your f.; go and fry; I never remember; I'll push; I'm not just; is my f.; it's staring; let's face; many faces; pay over; same old f.; wipe the egg; wipe the shit; yes, my arse; you are a thief; and:
Perhaps the ultimate in wry, pitying, semi-joc., derision of ugliness. Cf:
may be applied unkindly and derisively to the battle-axe or rear-end-of-a-bus sort of face: since c. 1890; 'still-heard' in 1974, Mr A.B. Petch assures me and as I have, myself, noticed. P.B.: earlier than the back of a bus came like the back end of a tram.
See: ain't it a f.; all we want is the f.; I have made.
See: old soldiers.
See: how's the fag.
See: stand on a f.
See: if all else; may your prick; words.
See: she will go.
See: it's like a nigger; it's not right; like a fart; plays as f.; you have made; and:
See: it's a fair cop.
mostly written fair doo's. At first, it was written fair dues, as in C.T. Clarkson and J. Hall Richardson, Police, 1889, 'Now then, fair dues; let everybody be searched. I have no money about me'-so it must have gone back to 1880 or earlier. After c. 1930, the orig. two-worder became a four-worder: fair doo's all round.
is elliptical for 'Well, that's fair enough'-'that sounds plausible', or 'I'll accept that statement or offer', but also used as a question (common among instructors), 'Satisfied?' or 'Convinced?' or 'Is that agreeable to you?' It dates from the 1920s, and until c. 1946 it remained a predominantly Services', esp. RAF, c.p., which, c. 1940, spread to Aus. and NZ. Its continuing Aus. currency is attested by Jim Ramsay, Cop It Sweet!, 1977.
P.B.: so well known was the phrase in the immediate post-WW2 period that there was even an appalling pun: 'I am a fairy. My name is Nuff. I'm the….'
goes back much earlier that I should have thought: recorded in anon., The New Swell's Night Guide, 1846, it may safely be orig. in the raffish 1820s (Egan, Moncrieff, et al.). A vulgar parody, current-although not very widely so-during the 1940s but mercifully killed by WW2, was fair, fat and forty, which, perhaps earthily true, fell rather short of being très galant. Playfair tells me, 1977, that it has generated a mnemonic among medical students, fair, fat, forty, fecund and flatulent, descriptive of the sort of woman likely to suffer from cholecystitis. The shorter version perhaps distorts John O'Keefe's 'fat, fair and forty' in the play Irish Minnie. O'Keefe (1747-1833) wrote some fifty comedies, some of them musical.
The ribald version exemplifies a variation of the linguistic process I call 'spontaneous combustion'; it sprang from and flourished in the rich soil of those British Isles dialects which pronounce forty as forty.
'Be fair!' or 'Be reasonable!' An orig. and predominantly Aus. var. of fair enough! (APOD, 1976.) It comes from the gambling game of two-up, 'the call…indicating that all the rules have been satisfied…at the same time enjoining that there be no hindrance'. Hence, 'the elementary fair treatment to which anyone must be entitled' (Wilkes, Dict. Aus. Coll., 1978). Not a c.p.; merely an ordinary Aus. coll. The same stricture applies to the synon. fair crack of the whip. Yet it can perhaps be adjudged to be a c.p. when used as an exclam., whether protest or plea or humorous disclaimer. Wilkes's earliest quot'n is for 1938, yet it had been used at least as early as 1908 within my own recollection.
A joc. reply to 'How are you?' or 'How's it, or things, going?' the jocularity taking the form of a pun, 'fair' and 'middling' being synon. Its c.p. usage clearly derives from the normal coll. usage, which goes back to early C20: orig. in UK, it prob. went c. 1920 to US, and thence c. 1945 to Aus. (Shapiro; Fain, 1977.) It has, in UK later C20, the occ. var. fair to muddling (P.B., 1976), and B.G.T. reminded me, 1978, that in England mustn't grumble has, since the late 1920s, often been added as an amelioration.
See: keep the f.
See: no, but you hum.
See: did she; he's fallen; I didn't come up; like the man who fell.
See: could fall….
See: drop your traces….
is a c.p. only in I've or she's (just) fallen off the roof, a US feminine expression meaning 'I've (just) started my period' and part-euph. said to a friend or a husband: late, perhaps mid-, C19-20, but by c. 1960 no longer used. (A.B., 1978.)
'A derisive dismissive sometimes used to end an argument among Army contemporaries, who may not in fact have any medals to dust' (P.B., 1974): post WW2, Cf:
'Still used derisively by those who, during WW2, had the brains to qualify for promotion to officer' (an anon, correspondent, 1978). From the parade-ground command.
is an occ. var., likewise US and dating not earlier than 1904, not later than 1916, of break a leg! 'I have heard [it]. Sothern once tried for the first 15 minutes of a play to whisper to Julia Marlowe that the trap on that stage was faulty; she thought he was trying to