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#180401 11/18/08 06:18 PM
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AT English boarding school, when we wanted release from a fight, we'd shout "PAX!". When my Dad wanted me to stop tickling him, he'd shout something that sounded like "FAY-NIGHTS" or "FAY-NITS"
What is that word? I have never heard it while living in the US since 1960.\
Any information?

Juneauwhat #180402 11/18/08 06:52 PM
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O feigh! (a Scots interjection indicating disgust)

akin to (Yiddish?) feh! whistle

-joe (just conjecturing) friday

Juneauwhat #180424 11/19/08 03:30 AM
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Sure it wasn't finis?

The Pook #180455 11/20/08 06:49 AM
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Hi and welcome
Did your Dad speak any languages besides English?

Juneauwhat #182372 02/04/09 01:29 AM
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I'm only 20, but I remembered this the other day. I think I learnt it as a child when my dad called an end to pillow fights that he was losing. I'll ask him about it, but we used it to call a truce/surrender in play fights. I've read that it might be a variation on 'feign nights' or suchlike. Would be interested to see if anyone has a more helpful origin.

Rny #182374 02/04/09 02:56 AM
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this mystery is solved!

fain (fen, to forbid) - Chiefly [Brit] School slang, orig. dial.
Used in the expression fains or fain(s) I, fain it, fainit(e)s: see quots.
[EA]

1870 N. & Q. 4th Ser. VI. 415/2 ‘Fains’, or ‘Fain it’{em}A term demanding a ‘truce’ during the progress of any game, which is always granted by the opposing party. Ibid. 517/1 A boy who had ‘killed’ another at marbles, that is hit his marble, would call out ‘Fain it’, meaning ‘You mustn't shoot at me in return’; or if a boy was going to shoot, and some inequality of surface was in his way, which he would have cleared away, his antagonist would prevent him by calling out ‘Fain clears’. Ibid. 517/2 If a prefect wants anything fetched for him and does not say by whom, those who wish to get off going say ‘Fain I’. 1889 BARRÈRE & LELAND Dict. Slang, Faints [sic], in vogue among schoolboys to express a wish temporarily to withdraw from participation in the particular sport or game being played. 1891 FARMER Slang, Fains! Fainits! Fain it! 1913 C. MACKENZIE Sinister St. I. I. vii. 103 He could shout ‘fain I’ to be rid of an obligation and ‘bags I’ to secure an advantage. 1927 W. E. COLLINSON Contemp. English 14 The custom of putting oneself out of the game altogether by crossing the fingers and saying pax! or faynights! [feinaits] or both together. 1948 J. BETJEMAN Coll. Poems (1958) 150 ‘I'd rather not.’ ‘Fains I.’ ‘It's up to you.’ 1960 Guardian 1 July 9/7 The Englishman..could remain absolutely pax and fainites. 1969 I. & P. OPIE Children's Games i. 18 This rule is so embedded in children's minds that their immediate response to the proposal of a game is to cry out..‘Me fains first’. Ibid., He must safeguard himself by saying in one gulp, ‘Let's-play-Tig-fains-I-be-on-it’. [OED online]

tsuwm #182377 02/04/09 06:08 AM
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Hi Rny
We used to call "dibs" as tsuwm's quote used "bags" but not the opposite "fay/fain"
I wonder if I could use it at work? grin


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