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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 “the fantods” is to 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, Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn:
      ...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, 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.