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"to a fare-thee-well"

Posted by Smokey Stover on April 25, 2006

In Reply to: "To a fair-thee-well" posted by ESC on April 24, 2006

: : What exactly does the phrase "to a fair-thee-well" mean?

: From Merriam-Webster online:

: 1 the utmost degree. Researched the story to a fare-thee-well.
: 2 : a state of perfection. Imitated the speaker's pompous manner to a fare-thee-well.

Curiously, the OED has nothing (that I could find) for "fare-thee-well," but has this: "U.S. colloq.
to a fare-you-well: to the last point; to the utmost degree; completely." No explanation in either dictionary of why a synonym for "good-bye" has taken on this meaning. SS

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