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Sweet Fanny Adams

Fanny Adams

    Sweet Fanny Adams: Unraveling the Quirky World of British Slang Words

    You may have heard or used the British phrase “Sweet Fanny Adams” but what does it mean and what is it’s origin? Read on to find out all about it.

    Sweet Fanny Adams Meaning

    Sweet Fanny Adams means Absolutely Nothing!

    Sweet FA

    If you hear “Sweet FA” it’s considered an abbreviation of this saying but also some say that it means  “Sweet F*** All!”

    The Origins of “Sweet Fanny Adams”

    When it comes to colorful and quirky language, the British have always had a knack for it. From their witty banter to their charming accents, the Brits know how to turn a phrase like no other.

    One aspect of their linguistic prowess that often leaves foreigners scratching their heads is their use of slang words. One such phrase that has perplexed many is “Sweet Fanny Adams.”

    So, what does it actually mean? Let’s dive into the fascinating world of British slang words and uncover the true meaning behind this peculiar expression.

    ** Reader Discretion Advised – not for kids **

    Fanny Adams
    By Illustrated Police New s(Life time: pre-1900) – Original publication: Illustrated Police News Immediate source: The True Story of Fanny Adams PD-US, Link

    In 1867 a young lady was killed and her corpse butchered by a man named Frederick Baker. A couple of years later, British seamen were given tinned mutton as rations. They decided that it tasted so bad it must be the remains of Fanny Adams. From that point on, “Fanny Adams” became slang for mutton or stew and later on, meaning anything worthless.

    Her tragic death led to the phrase being used as a dark joke among sailors. Over time, it became a part of British slang and is still used today, albeit less frequently than in the past.

    Sweet Fanny Adams Grave

    Sweet Fanny Adams Grave
    Sweet Fanny Adams Grave

    Fanny Adams’ grave can be found in Alton cemetery in the UK. The memorial stone reads:

    Sacred to the memory of Fanny Adams aged 8 years and 4 months who was cruelly murdered on Saturday Aug 24th, 1867.

    Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul but rather fear Him who is able to kill both body and soul in hell. Matthew 10:28.

    This stone was erected by voluntary subscription.

    Embrace the Quirkiness

    British slang words add a touch of charm and quirkiness to the English language. They reflect the rich cultural history and the unique sense of humor that the British are known for. So, the next time you come across a phrase like “Sweet Fanny Adams,” you’ll know the intriguing story behind it.

    Remember, language is a living entity, constantly evolving and adapting. So, whether it’s old-fashioned slang or new trendy expressions, embracing the quirks and peculiarities of language is what makes communication so fascinating.

    Now that you’re armed with a few British slang words, go forth and impress your friends with your newfound linguistic knowledge. Bob’s your uncle!