One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
By right or wrong; by fair or unfair means; by any means (good or bad).
Early 17th century; earliest use found in William Watson (?1559–1603), Roman Catholic priest and conspirator. From post-classical Latin per fas et nefas by right or wrong from classical Latin per + fās that which is right + et and + nefās offence against divine or moral law.
per fas et nefas/pəː ˌfɑːs ɛt ˈneɪfɑːs/
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