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The first known record of the word is from 1839, in the book Adventures of Harry Franco by Charles Biggs.




  1. (chiefly dated) plural of fantod
    to have/give the fantodsto be in a state of nervousness, distress, or anxiety
    • 1839, Charles Biggs, Adventures of Harry Franco:
      You have got strong symptoms of the fantods; your skin is so tight you can’t shut your eyes without opening your mouth.”
    • 1884 December 10, Mark Twain [pseudonym; Samuel Langhorne Clemens], The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: (Tom Sawyer’s Comrade) [], London: Chatto & Windus, [], →OCLC:
      [] I catched a glimpse of fire away through the trees. I went for it, cautious and slow. By and by I was close enough to have a look, and there laid a man on the ground. It most give me the fantods.
    • 1935, The American Magazine, page 66:
      You can't be on the fence about this article. It'll make you cheer loudly or roar with annoyance. It gave two of our editors the fantods.
    • 1992 July/August, Molly Ivins, “Bubba's Billionaire”, in Mother Jones Magazine, page 8:
      I know, I know, the mere thought of a right-wing Dallas billionaire buying the presidency gives you the hot fantods.
    • 1996, David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest [], Boston, Mass., New York, N.Y.: Little, Brown and Company, →ISBN, page 632:
      Last week a grounds-crew lawnmower sitting clean and silent and somehow menacing in the middle of the dawn kitchen gave Mrs. Clarke the fantods and resulted in Eggplant Parmesan for two suppers in a row, which sent shock waves.