One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Nothing at all.‘I know sweet Fanny Adams about mining’
- ‘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.’
- ‘But one word of advice - with a lot of free time and the world your oyster, you often achieve sweet Fanny Adams.’
- ‘To use a quaint British phrase, I know sweet Fanny Adams about the media on the other side of the pond.’
- ‘Investing in a defined contribution pension in the stock market is not worth it because the financial industry takes all the upside to pay itself handsomely for doing sweet Fanny Adams.’
2A nautical term for tinned meat or stew.
- ‘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.’
Late 19th century (in Fanny Adams (sense 2)): black humour, from the name of a murder victim c 1870. Fanny Adams (sense 1) dates from the early 20th century, and is sometimes understood as a euphemism for fuck all.
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