Breaktime - Yoofspeak

15th July 2011 at 01:00

Feen (n)

Means: A male person

Usage: "Who's the feen over by the gate?"

The proper names for Yoofspeak, so linguists tell us, are MEYD (multiethnic youth dialect) or MLE (multiethnic London English), but not all playground language emanates from London, and ethnic doesn't only mean African Caribbean or Asian. One term that is widely used around the UK is rarely if ever heard in the Smoke, but belongs to a 300-year-old tradition. Feen, also spelled fein, has been borrowed from the slang of Travellers, the argot formerly used by tinkers and known as Shelta, itself deriving mainly from Irish Gaelic. In Irish, feen simply means "man", but in slang it sometimes has the extra senses of "stranger" or "rogue". Don't confuse this with the verb "to feen" (sometimes "feem"), a modern import from US street-talk, which is an alteration of "fiend" and means craving for, or obsessing over, as in "I'm feenin' for some weed" or "he's feenin' over that new girl".

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