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Fie is an archaic interjection or exclamation expressing disapproval or disgust. It came into use during the thirteenth century, probably from the Old French fi, which is an exclamation of disapproval. Another influence is the Old Norse word, fy.  A correlating word exists in many languages, fie seems to have evolved as an onomatopoetic word, imitating a natural snort of disgust.  In the nineteenth century, fie-fie was a British slang term for a woman of tarnished reputation.

Most English speakers probably encounter the word fie in the rhyme, Fee, fie, fo, fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman. Be he alive or be he dead, I’ll grind his bones to make my bread, from the fairy tale, Jack and the Beanstalk as it is known in the United States, or Jack the Giant Killer.


McAfee, fie, fo, fum: IT giant talks on guns, girls and extreme danger (The South China Morning Post)

RECAP: Game of Thrones Watch: Fee Fi Fo Fum! (TIME)

Oops, I forgot; Paleo eating doesn’t allow for beans. Well, then — fee, fie, foe, fum; I’ll just eat the beans. (The Huffington Post)

An obvious theft occurs and then it’s fee, fie, fo, fum as the Giant goes after Jack “as he’s very angry at him for stealing his eggs”. (The Limerick Post)

Kadir, Fee Fie Foe Fum! I smell rebellion, resentment and rage in your propositions! (The Rakyat Post)

Fee Fie Foe Fum! James brought cupcakes from his home town of Akron, Ohio, for the royals, which is rather sweet, and he travels with 16 million Twitter followers, so chances are — spontaneous hug or no spontaneous hug — the savvy Duke and Duchess know which side their social media is buttered on. (The Toronto Sun)


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