Slang Word of the Day: Fain


Sometimes words in Romanian are right on the cusp between slang and “standard” use, a blend between being considered informal, perhaps even vulgar use and an ordinary, common word. You wouldn’t use these words in a job application but it wouldn’t shock your grandmother to say them.

One such adjective is the Romanian word fain, pronounced exactly like the English “fine”, based on a similarly shared Germanic root of the word fein.

In both German and English, “fine” in this sense means “wonderful” or “swell” or “splended”, as in a positive thing. German sich feinmachen (literally: make yourself fine) means to dress up in your best clothes, for instance.

In Romanian the word fain is an all-purpose word used to describe something as pleasant or enjoyable. Because it is an adjective, it shows normal declinations.

Gender Singular Plural
Masculine fain faini
Feminine faina faine

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You might notice there the singular, female version faina is written exactly the same way as the word for (bread) flour. This is true except for bread flour is pronounced fye-ee-nah while the adjective for “excellent” is pronounced “fine-ah“, one of those fun little mysteries of the Romanian language.

Let’s look at a few examples:

Vremea a fost faina – The weather was wonderful.
Concertul a fost foarte fain – The concert was great.
Mi-am adus aminte recent de un joc foarte fain – I recently was reminded of an awesome game.

And so on and so forth. In general, the word fain is used as an adjective to describe just about anything except for people directly, as you would rarely say someone is fain although you could say their outfit or clothes are fain.

AND NOW YOU KNOW!

3 thoughts on “Slang Word of the Day: Fain

  1. “In general, the word fain is used as an adjective to describe just about anything except for people directly, as you would rarely say someone is fain although you could say their outfit or clothes are fain.”

    Se poate folosi şi pt persoane.

    ex. Îi faină tipa? — you’re asking whether the chick is pretty (this is, I believe, the most frequent usage of fain for persons)
    E un om fain. — using it with “om”, it means you like something about that person’s personality/character (a bit rare)

    Like

  2. About “faina”

    The word for bread flour is actually “făină”
    The word for wonderful weather is actually “faină”

    Ă and A are two differently letters, and most of the time they do matter.

    Like

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