You are watching: Fe fi fo fum i smell the blood of an englishman



It"s a rash phrase, developed by the writer of the old fairy tales "Jack and the Beanstalk". That is commonly expressed as fee-fi-fo-fum and it has actually no definition or relevance as well as the truth that it renders a neat couplet designed to strike terror into the listener"s heart. As a son hearing this story, I always imagined the giant stomping his feet come the win of fee-fi-fo-fum and making the floor shake and poor Jack"s knees tremble.

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Wikipedia consists the an interpretation well and also has this to say about Jack the huge Killer:

Neither Jack or his tale are referenced in literary works prior to the eighteenth century, and his story did not show up in publish until 1711. That is probable an enterprising publisher assembled a variety of anecdotes around giants to type the 1711 tale.

The short article mentions the in william Shakespeare’s play, King Lear (written in between 1603 and 1606), Edgar exclaims:

Fie, foh, and also fum, ns smell the blood that a brothers man.

The write-up goes on come explain:

The city in King Lear renders use of the archaic word "fie", offered to express disapproval. This word is used repeatedly in Shakespeare"s works, King Lear self shouting, "Fie, fie, fie! pah, pah!" and also the character of note Antony (in Antony and Cleopatra) simply exclaiming "O fie, fie, fie!" words "fum" has sometimes been taken as "fume". Formations such together "fo" and "foh" are possibly related to the expression "pooh!", i m sorry is used by one the giants in Jack the Giant-Killer; together conjectures largely indicate that the expression is of imitative origin, rooted in the sounds of flustering and also anger.

However, King Lear isn"t the an initial work in i m sorry the expression appears. dramatist cutting board Nashe in 1596 composed in Have with You to Saffron-Walden the passage:

O, tis a priceless apothegmaticall Pedant, who will finde matter inough come dilate a whole daye that the very first inuention of Fy, fa, fum, i smell the bloud of an yellowcomic.comman

So it appears that authors have puzzled over the beginnings of this chant and also what it method for over 4 centuries!