Throwback Thursday – “fadge,” v.

There are so many archaic English words that express an idea very succinctly, or possibly very entertainingly, that we just… don’t use any more. And why not? So…

Throwback Thursday

The idea for this particular variation of Throwback Thursday came during an acting class a few months ago. A fellow student had chosen to perform Viola’s monologue from Act II, Scene ii of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, line 33. I tend to prefer the First Folio version, which is what my classmate used, but for simplicity’s sake I’ve used a modern translation here.

How will this fadge? My master loves her dearly;
And I, poor monster, fond as much on him;
And she, mistaken, seems to dote on me.
What will become of this?
Here, Viola worries what will happen when both Olivia and Orsino discover that she is really a man, given Olivia’s affection for her and her own affection for Orsino.
We found the following definitions for this word:
1. succeed, be suitable, turn out well
2. turn out, end up, come off lists relatively the same thing:
1. to agree
2. to succeed
And the Oxford English Dictionary lists the same definitions, among others. There are also noun definitions, including a small bale of wool, a slang term for farthing, or a short fat individual. It lists the first use in 1573, with the definition “to fit in with or suit the surroundings; hence to get on, succeed, thrive:”
1573   G. Harvey Schollers Loove in Let.-bk. (1884) 142   Nothing fadgith, that with them is at variaunce.
Other uses include:
  • 1578   G. Whetstone Promos & Cassandra: 1st Pt. v. v. sig. Fivv,   In good soothe Sir, this match fadged frim.
  • 1599   J. Marston Scourge of Villanie i. i. 172   How ill his shape with inward forme doth fadge.
  • a1661   T. Fuller Worthies (1662) Wales 12   The Study of the Law did not fadge well with him.
  • 1639   Sir J. Lenke in Mem. Verney Fam. (1892) I. 209   Mistress ffaulkner and my lady do fadge.
The last entry listed is from a glossary in 1880:
1880   M. A. Courtney W. Cornwall Words in M. A. Courtney & T. Q. Couch Gloss. Words Cornwall 20/2   Fadge, Fadgee, to suit; to agree; to do.
Possible Sample Uses
  • “Dating two girls at the same time?  I don’t know how he thinks that’s going to fadge.”
  • “How do you think it’s going to fadge if you don’t study?”
  • “A pink shirt and red pants? That outfit just doesn’t fadge.”
  • “My new puppy doesn’t really fadge with my older dogs yet.”

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