One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Nothing at all.‘I know sweet Fanny Adams about mining’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Your Auntie or your Granny would be more likely to substitute ‘sweet Fanny Adams’ rather than use the naughty word.’
- ‘But one word of advice - with a lot of free time and the world your oyster, you often achieve 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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