What does Fiending mean?

Fiending is a term used to express an intense craving for something similar to what drug addicts feel.


What's the origin of Fiending?

The term “fiending” is derived from the Old English word “fiend” meaning “enemy”, which in Middle English meant “devil or demon”.

Later, around the 18th century, the noun “fiend” got a secondary meaning, referring to someone as an irrational enthusiast or devotee of something, later used especially for addicts of pernicious habits e.g.: “an opium fiend”.

Spread & Usage

How did Fiending spread?

The verb was commonly used during the beginning of the 19th century – approximately around the 1820s when it went out of fashion and didn’t rise up as long as the 1990s.

In the late 20th century “fiending” was mainly used in publications discussing drug addiction.

The first post was written about the term on Urban Dictionary in 2003 still in the ’drug addiction’ context.

However, the posts written on Urban Dictionary and the book African American Slang show a slight modification after 2009 as the term started to be used in the context of craving for food, drink, tv show, desired merchandise or even a special someone since then.

The term can be seen in both contexts on social media platforms such as Reddit, Twitter or TikTok.

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