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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English fikil, fikil, from Old English ficol ‎(fickle, cunning, tricky, deceitful), equivalent to fike +‎ -le. More at fike.


fickle ‎(comparative fickler or more fickle, superlative ficklest or most fickle)

  1. Quick to change one’s opinion or allegiance; insincere; not loyal or reliable.
  2. (figuratively) changeable
    • 2014, Paul Salopek, Blessed. Cursed. Claimed., National Geographic (December 2014)[1]
      To the south, the vast geometrical deserts of Arabian nomads, a redoubt of feral movement, of fickle winds, of open space, of saddle leather—home to the wild Bedouin tribes.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English fikelen, from fikel ‎(fickle); see above. Cognate with Low German fikkelen ‎(to deceive, flatter), German ficklen, ficheln ‎(to deceive, flatter).


fickle ‎(third-person singular simple present fickles, present participle fickling, simple past and past participle fickled)

  1. (transitive) To deceive, flatter.
  2. (transitive, Britain dialectal) To puzzle, perplex, nonplus.