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Sri Lankan English - Updates F

This page contains updates to the dictionary beginning with the letter F. It is divided into 2 parts: New Entries, and Comments and Corrections. Click here to return to the main updates page, or on the links on the left side of the page to go to another letter.

These pages are updated regularly; please contact me if you have any suggestions or feedback which can be included.


fags: (in newspaper headlines) cigarettes (coll. in standard usage)
Excise seize illicit fags worth over Rs. 96m in Mattakkuliya (Daily Mirror 31/07/15)

Familian: a student or former student of Holy Family Convent, Colombo (> Bishopian, Bridgeteen, LC-ite, Musaeite, Shepherdian, Visakhian)
Although not a Familian, having studied elsewhere as a schoolgirl, she held her duties firstly as a teacher and then as Principal, very close to her heart, …
For many Familians of that era who were fortunate to be moulded and guided by you, the striving for perfection is also an enduring quality inculcated in us … (Sunday Times 03/11/13)
Familians dance the night away (Sunday Times 19/10/14)
Old Familians impress at Cager (Sunday Times 12/07/15)

favouration: favouritism
“Favouration. Favouration. How could you be absent from school for so long and still come first? The teachers are favouring you.” (A Nice Burgher Girl, by Jean Arasanayagam, page 214)
Wijesundera is insisting there can be no favouration and that tenders should be called for. (Sunday Leader online 03/04/05)
Besides sexual harassment at the workplace, a concern that repeatedly cropped up was the issue of what was termed “sexual favouration”, or women employees gaining privileges on the basis of sexual favours rather than merit or seniority. (article on International Federation of Journalists website 29/05/06)
… the massive favouration given by the British colonial regime to Tamils under the colonial policy of divide and rule … (comment posted on Lanka Academic Forum website 08/06/07)

FBOP (= flowery broken orange pekoe): a high grade of tea (> BOP, BOPF)
In the Small Leaf catalogues, a small selection of select best FBOP/FBOFF was eased Rs. 3 to Rs. 5, whilst best and secondary sorts sold at firm to dearer rates. (Island 24/03/07)
Gordon Factory situated in the Uda Pussellawa Agro Climatic Region has established an all time record price of Rs. 610 per kg for a FBOP grade at this week’s tea auctions. (Financial Times 10/10/13)

fellow: (2) (coll.) an animal, bird, etc. (e.g. a pet)
“You want to sell the fellow? ... Who will have twenty rupees to buy a baby hare?” (Paduma Meets the Sunbird, by Nihal de Silva, page 104)
“… and then the first tusker came up, followed by the others. These poor fellows weren’t charging.” (Beggar’s Feast, by Randy Boyagoda, page 28)
A stray dog … stole a chicken … and ran away. But … Pala … pursued the fellow and brought back the bedraggled chicken with a triumphant look in his eyes … (Somewhere, by Vijita Fernando, page 115)
“ ‘Give me a parrot.’ … Then he gave me this fellow in the cage.” (Sinhala Only, by Manuka Wijesinghe, page 76)

The horse, a thoroughbred of an almost black colour was a rather tall sturdy fellow ... (Accha House and Umma House, by Asiff Hussein, page 115)
We were besotted with dinosaurs … These we divided into ‘good fellows’ and ‘bad fellows’. … like that scary-looking fellow, Tyranosaurus Rex! (Accha House and Umma House, by Asiff Hussein, page 195)
Laika, an otherwise passive fellow that would never bite unless provoked, … (Accha House and Umma House, by Asiff Hussein, page 255)

fine one: (coll.) a strange person
“And fine one, you are. Don’t know your children’s handwriting even.” (The Jam Fruit Tree, by Carl Muller, page 106)
“Fine one you are Ru – to get married without telling us.” (The Mango Tree, by Anthea Senaratna, page 99)
“Fine one you are. … getting late like this.” (Maudiegirl and the von Bloss Kitchen, by Carl Muller, page 155)

fine thing: (coll.) a strange thing

“Fine thing, no? to come and tell all this to your grave.” (The Jam Fruit Tree, by Carl Muller, page 10)
“Fine thing to give for his birthday, no?” (Yakada Yaka, by Carl Muller, page 189)
“Fine thing this is, sending deformed buggers here.” (Spit and Polish, by Carl Muller, page 69)
“Fine things to be doing – at his age!” (The Sweet and Simple Kind, by Yasmine Gooneratne, page 485)
“What a cad!” – “Ha! Fine thing coming from you!” (The Moon in the Water, by Ameena Hussein, page 96)

fish bun (= malu paan): a bun with a spicy fish filling
In the showcase near the entrance were fish buns, egg rottis, dishes of boiled manioc with scraped coconut, laveriya, munguli and other sweetmeats. (The Mirror of Paradise, by Asgar Hussein, page 13)

... in hopes of slipping out with a fish bun ... (Beggar’s Feast, by Randy Boyagoda, page 292)
The silver box perched on his rear carrier is filled with long sugar rolls, spicy fish buns, cutlets and patties, … (The Hungry Ghosts, by Shyam Selvadurai, page 361)
… where they dispensed iced coffee and fish buns over the counter. (Accha House and Umma House, by Asiff Hussein, page 184)
She lunched lightly on a fish bun and seeni sambal roll; … (The Ceaseless Chatter of Demons, by Ashok Ferrey, page 271)

fit-on room: fitting room in a clothes shop
Victim secretly videoed female customers in fit-on room (The Island 19/09/12)

: spraying of vaporised insecticide as a means of preventing dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases
(Click here to see a photograph)

When a large area is concerned, fogging has proved to be an effective method to eradicate mosquitoes from a neighborhood. (

food cover: a dome-shaped cover (usually made of cane or plastic) placed over food to protect it from flies, etc.
A fabric mesh food cover also doubles as a portable, mini- mosquito net for babies. (

footboard traveller: a bus or train passenger standing on the footboard
A train went hooting by, footboard travellers clinging onto handrails and digging to toe holds like mountain climbers, all for dear life to get home in one piece. (Rainbows in Braille, by Elmo Jayawardena, page 105)

Footboard traveller falls off train (Island 18/02/07)
… the Police have decided to come down hard on footboard travellers in buses and trains. This follows the increase in rate of accidents as a result of footboard travel. … Footboard travel should be banned and bus crew held accountable. (Daily News 28/03/11)
He added that footboard travellers obstruct passengers from getting in and out. (Sunday Times 21/09/14)

foreigner: less common in standard usage, where foreigners tend to be referred to more specifically as Americans, Asians, Eastern Europeans, etc., or as tourists, immigrants, asylum seekers, etc.
married to a foreigner
Foreigners’ toilet (sign at airport and railway stations)
Foreigners only (sign at some casinos, guest houses, etc.)

foreign liquor: imported gin, whisky, vodka, etc. (SAE)
Excise Department Bureau of Special Operations took a stock of foreign liquor worth Rs.1.4 million into custody yesterday … (Sunday Observer 28/09/08)

fujigraph: (v) (dated) fiddle, fudge, waste time, fool around, flirt
Maybe because of her Irish/Dutch grandparents, her vocabulary would include phrases or words like fujigraphing, job's patience, woe betide you, tiffin etc. Anyone who wasn't a Burgher was a 'native!' (Sunday Leader 30/10/05)

full option: (of cars) equipped with the newest features such as A/C, power steering, electric windows, etc.
Lady Doctor used Kia Spectra full option Manual car in good condition. ( 05/07/14)

fully worth: (also full worth) (coll.) well worthwhile, very good value (> worth)
Full worth the $15 I pay for it every month. ( 22/06/11)
… but considering the ingredients and the taste, we think it's fully worth. ( 06/04/15)
Most of the tickets are already sold out, but … buying a ticket to catch the action is fully worth given that this is the blue ribbon rugby match of the season. (Nation 23/04/16)


foguetti (not foguete): a sweet pastry made with pumpkin preserve (Portuguese)

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