The sixth letter of the English alphabet, formed by the passing of breath between the lower lip and the upper incisive teeth. By most persons it is produced in the former manner. Its corresponding sonant letter is v, in producing which voice is substituted for breath. — Webster, 1882
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The following is an incomplete list of the remaining indexed main headings. Once a completed entry has been uploaded, it will be removed from the list below and added to the links above. Subheadings, reference locators, and cross-referenced subentries are not included in this list. Always consult the completed entry for referenced source of definition used below.
Fair Grounds – In Farmer Boy, the site of the annual Franklin County Fair, located on the south side of East Main Street in Malone, New York.
fairy – An imaginary supernatural being or spirit, supposed to assume a human form, either male or female, and to meddle for good or evil in the affairs of mankind.
false front – Facade built larger than necessary in order to make a building look more grandiose.
fashion plate – A design showing the prevailing style of dress.
fasting – To abstain from food; to omit to take nourishment in whole or part; to go hungry.
faugh – Exclamation of disgust.
fawn – A young fallow deer; a buck or doe of the first year.
feather – One of the growths, generally formed each of a central quill and a vane upon each side of it, which makes up the covering of a bird; a plume; a pen. The feathers covering the body are sometimes called plumage, in distinction from the longer feathers of the tail and wings.
feed – n. A grazing or pasture ground. A certain portion or allowance of provender given to a horse, cow, &c.; as a feed of corn or oats. v.t. To give food to; to supply with nourishment; to furnish with provisions. To fill the wants of; to supply; to furnish; to satisfy. To graze. To cause to be cropped by feeding, as herbage by cattle, as, if grain is too forward in autumn, feed it with sheep.
fence – An enclosure about a field; especially, an inclosing structure of wood, iron, or other material, intended to prevent intrusion from without or straying from within.
fiddle / violin – A stringed instrument of music; a violin. A violin is an instrument with four strings, played with a bow; a fiddle. The violin is distinguished for the brilliancy and gayety, as well as the power and variety, of its tones, and in the orchestra, it is the leading and most important instrument.
fife – A small pipe used as a wind instrument, chiefly to accompany the drum in a military band.
fig, dried – A fruit-tree of the genus Ficus, growing in warm climates, of which the Ficus carica is the principal species. The fruit of the fig tree, which is of a round or oblong shape, and of various colors.
figure, dancing – Any one of the several sorts of movements made by the feet and limbs of a dancer.
figure, china / people / shape – The representation of any form by drawing, painting, modeling, carving, or embroidering; especially, a representation of the human body; also, a figure in bronze; an image; a bodiless image; a statue; a diagram; a drawing; ornamental shape.
figuring – To indicate by numerals; also, to calculate.
file / take a claim – To bring before a court or legislative body by presenting proper papers in a regular way. To put upon the files or among the records of a court; to note on a paper the fact and date of its reception in court.
ball of fire – Ball lightning is an atmospheric phenomenon during thunderstorms in which luminous globules or beads appear near the ground or indoors and can remain stationary or move along a path before disappearing.
fire-break / firebreak – An obstacle placed in an expected path of fire to stop or divert the flames, such as a strip of plowed ground in a field or around a house.
firecracker / fireworks – A small paper cylinder, charged with a preparation of gunpowder, and furnished with a short fuse, which, being lighted, explodes with a loud report. Fire-crackers were originally imported from China, and are used for amusement. Fireworks are preparations of gunpowder, sulphur, and other inflammable materials, used for making explosions in the air, on occasions of public rejoicing; pyrotechnical exhibitions.
fireman, railroad – A man who tends the fires, as of a steam engine.
fireman – A man who puts out fires.
fireplace – The part of a chimney appropriated to the fire; a hearth.
First! The heel and then the toe, see polka
fish / fishing – An oviparous, vertebrate animal having a covering of scales or plates, and breathing by means of gills or branchiæ, and living almost entirely in the water. The flesh of fish, used as food. Fishing is attempting to catch fish; to be employed in taking fish, by any means, as by angling or drawing nets.
John Fitch – Walnut Grove merchant.
flail – An instrument for threshing or beating grain from the ear by hand, consisting of a wooden staff or handle, at the end of which a stouter and shorter pole or club is so hung as to swing freely.
flannel – A soft, nappy, woolen cloth, of loose texture.
fleece – The coat of wool that covers a sheep, or that is shorn from a sheep at one time.
Florida – In the Little House books, the place where oranges come from; also, the land America paid Spain for after Andrew Jackson had taken it from the Spanish.
flounce – v.t. To throw the limbs and body one way and the other; to spring, turn, or twist with sudden effort or violence; to struggle, as a horse in mire; to flounder; to throw one’s self with a jerk or spasm, often as in displeasure. n. An ornamental appendage to the skirt of a lady’s dress, consisting of a strip gathered and sewed on by its upper edge around the skirt, and left hanging and waving.
flour – The finely ground meal of wheat, or of any other grain; especially, the finer part of meal separated by bolting.
flute, musical instrument – A musical instrument, consisting of a hollow cylinder or pipe, with holes along its length, stopped by the fingers or by keys which are opened by the fingers. The modern flute is closed at the upper end, and blown with the mouth at a lateral hole.
flower – A circle of leaves or leaflets on a plant usually of some other color than green; a bloom or blossom; as, the dog-wood flower. That part of a plant destined to produce seed, and hence including one or both of the sexual organs; an organ or combination of the organs of propagation, isolated by a circle of foliar parts. A complete flower consists of two essential parts, the stamens and the pistil, and two floral envelopes, the corolla and calyx.
Flutterbudget / flutterbudget – One of the nicknames Charles Ingalls called Laura. Applied originally to the hoppity skip of a little girl, comparing it to the fluttering business of the brown thrush (bird).
folly – The state of being a fool; wanting good sense; levity; weakness, or derangement of mind. A foolish act; an inconsiderate or thoughtless procedure; weak or light-minded conduct; foolery.
foordination – Foreordination or predestination is the belief that everything that will happen has already been decided by God and cannot be changed, that God has foreordained every event throughout eternity.
ford – n. A place in a river, or other water, where it may be passed by man or beast on foot, or by wading. v.t. To pass or cross, as a river or other water, by treading or walking on the bottom; to pass through by wading; to wade through.
foreman – The chief of a set of hands employed in a shop, or on works of any kind, who superintends the rest; an overseer.
forest – An extensive wood; a large tract of land covered with trees; in the United States, a wood of native growth, or a tract of woodland which has never been cultivated.
fort – A fortified place; usually, a small fortified place, occupied only by troops, surrounded with a ditch, rampart, and parapet, or with palisades, stockades, or other means of defense; a fortress; a fortification.
forte – Loud; strong; powerfully.
George W. Foster – Brother of Mrs. Henry Burvee.
foundation – That on which any thing stands, and by which it is supported; the lowest and supporting layer or a super-structure; groundwork.
Fourth of July / 4th of July, see also Independence Day
fox – An animal of the genus Vulpes. It burrows in the earth, is remarkable for its cunning, and preys on lambs, geese, hens, or other small animals. The common red fox of America is Vulpes fulvus.
France – Country in Western Europe.
Frank Day – Almanzo’s cousin, the son of John Wesley Day.
Franklin, Benjamin – American philosopher and statesman (1706-1790).
free and independent – From the Declaration of Independence and freedom from British rule, it became a statement of man’s self-governing.
free trade – Purchase and sale of goods without restrictions or tariffs.
French Creek – An intermittent stream located in the Black Hills, a tributary of the Cheyenne River.
French horse / little French horse – Used in relation to Laura Ingalls’ strength as a child, calling to mind the breed of light draft horse, the Norman, from the Normandy region in France.
French Joe – Woodsman in Farmer Boy.
French knot – An embroidery stitch in which the thread is wrapped around the needle before being passed through the fabric at the same point the needle exited, leaving a small, raised bump.
freshet – A flood or overflowing of a river by means of heavy rains or melted snow; an inundation. A stream of fresh water.
frock – An upper coat; an outer garment; especially, a loose, coarse garment worn by men over their other clothes; or a kind of gown, open behind, worn by females and children.
frog – An amphibious animal of the genus Rana, with four feet, a naked body, and without a tail. It is remarkable for swimming rapidly, and for taking long leaps on ground. The bull-frog is Rana pipiens.
frost – That state or temperature of the air which occasions congelation, or the freezing of water; severe cold or freezing weather. Frozen dew; – called hoar-frost or white-frost.
frost-bite / frostbite – The freezing of some part of the body by exposure to intense cold.
fuel – Any matter which serves as aliment to fire; that which feeds fire; combustible matter, as wood, coal, peat, &c.
full-blood – A person or animal of unmixed race or breed.
Gerald Fuller (1848-1930) – Younger brother of Charleton Fuller who became a partner in the hardware business in De Smet beginning in 1882.
fur – The short, fine, soft hair of certain animals, growing thick on the skin, and distinguished from the hair, which is longer and coarser. The skins of certain wild animals with the fur; peltry; as, a cargo of furs. Strips of skins with fur, used on garments for lining or for ornament; as, garments are lined or faced with fur.
furrow – A trench in the earth made by a plow.