Share this entry

Share this page

Fanny Adams

Line breaks: Fanny Adams
Pronunciation: /fanɪˈadəmz
 
/

Definition of Fanny Adams in English:

noun

British informal
1 (also sweet Fanny Adams) Nothing at all: I know sweet Fanny Adams about mining
More example sentences
  • Your Auntie or your Granny would be more likely to substitute ‘sweet Fanny Adams’ rather than use the naughty word.
  • The fact is, of course, that ‘proper talks’ tend to end up with the union getting sweet Fanny Adams besides a bit more chat about about partnership and training.
  • To use a quaint British phrase, I know sweet Fanny Adams about the media on the other side of the pond.
2A nautical term for tinned meat or stew.
Example sentences
  • The British Royal Navy adopted the term "Fanny Adams" to mean the canned mutton that had recently joined their rations, since the meat had a rather suspiciously smooth appearance.

Origin

late 19th century (in sense 2): black humour, from the name of a murder victim circa1870. sense 1 dates from the early 20th century, and is sometimes understood as a euphemism for fuck all.

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day tenebrous
Pronunciation: ˈtɛnɪbrəs
adjective
dark; shadowy or obscure