Words: fad, n.

Click to follow
The Independent Online
EDMUND MORRIS'S biography of Ronald Reagan takes to new heights, or depths, the current fad for interpolating fiction. Not some new word, but in fact 19th-century Midlands dialect, fad is of obscure origins but is linked with another of the region's words, to faddle - dandle a child fussily - which is parallel with fiddle faddle, a 16th-century creation which spawned fidfad.

As for craze, that surfaced in the early 19th century (from the French ecraser, itself from Norse) while all the rage is some 50 years older and, like rabies, derives via the French raige from the late Latin rabia. All of which is more stimulating than Reagan ever was, a fact - as Gore Vidal remarks - which has surely made Morris spice up his book in that outlandish way.

Comments