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See also: Fanny and Fanný



  • IPA(key): /ˈfæni/
  • Rhymes: -æni
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Etymology 1[edit]

19th century. Ultimately from Fanny, pet form of the name Frances.[1] Compare dick, John Thomas, mickey.


fanny (countable and uncountable, plural fannies)

  1. (Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, vulgar) The female genitalia. [from 1830s]
    Her dress was so short you could nearly see her fanny.
  2. (Canada, US, informal) The buttocks; arguably the most nearly polite of several euphemisms. [from 1910s]
    Children, sit down on your fannies, and eat your lunch.
    Get off your fanny and get back to work!
  3. (UK, vulgar) Sexual intercourse with a woman.
    get some fanny tonight
  4. (UK, vulgar, uncountable) Women, regarded as sex objects.
    This club is full of fanny.
Usage notes[edit]

In North American usage, this is the mildest of euphemisms referring to the buttocks, suitable for use when speaking to small children. Elsewhere, it is a vulgar direct reference to female genitalia and sexuality.

Derived terms[edit]
  1. ^ Spedding, Patrick and Lambert, James (2011) ‘Fanny Hill, Lord Fanny and the Myth of Metonymy.’ Studies in Philology, 108(1):108-132.

Etymology 2[edit]

The British naval slang sense derives from Fanny Adams. Tins of mutton introduced as rations were not liked by the sailors and were taken by them to contain the butchered remains of Fanny Adams who had been brutally murdered and dismembered. The tins were re-used for eating from and cooking with. [1]


fanny (plural fannies)

  1. (UK, naval slang) Mess kettle or cooking pot.
    • 2005, Patrick Halliday, Survival, page 24:
      I put on a big fanny of Ky, that is a straight-sided pot of cocoa for them returning.
See also[edit]


  • “fanny” in the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, Second Edition, Oxford University Press, 2004.
  1. ^ “Royal Navy: Surnames page (Adams - Cooper)”, in (please provide the title of the work)[1], accessed 13 July 2006, archived from the original on 2008-01-01