July 26, 2012
fellow (noun)
\FEL-oh\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : comrade, associate2 a : an equal in rank, power, or character : peer b : one of a pair : mate3 : a person holding any of various positions at a university4 : a male person
How do you use it?
"The Old-Green-Grasshopper turned his huge black eyes upon the Centipede and gave him a withering look. 'Young fellow,' he said, speaking in a deep, slow, scornful voice, 'I have never been a pest in my life. I am a musician.'" (Roald Dahl, James and the Giant Peach)
Are you a word wiz?

"Fellow" came into English long ago from a Scandinavian word for a person involved in a particular activity. Which one of these do you think is an example of such a person?

You're in business if you chose B! Although the people of 9th century Britain likely didn't think of their Scandinavian invaders as comrades, our word "fellow" arose from that history. The Old English ancestor of "fellow" is "feolaga," a modification of the Old Norse "felagi," meaning "fee-layer." A "fee-layer" put down property (usually livestock or money) in a business venture with another person, for trade or some other common goal. "Fellow" didn't retain this sense of "partner" or "business associate" in English, but it has acquired other meanings, one of the most common being "male person."
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