Newfangled – ‘Grasping at modernity’

Newfangled: Of a new kind of fashion

It’s bounced around quite flippantly, but I find ‘newfangled’ a troubling term, what were the old fangles even like?

The term ‘newfangled’ is, in fact, not so new; it’s actually been with us since the 14th century, though then it referred to ‘a person who was fond of novelty’. It is indeed a combination of the word ‘new’ and ‘fangled’ (although it was the spelt ‘fangel’ and the time), with ‘fangel’ being a Proto-Germanic word meaning ‘to grasp’, the idea being that certain people were keen to grab at anything new.


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