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F Layer

The F Layer is a region of the ionised gas in the ionosphere, often known as

the Appleton Layer. It is the most important layer from the point of view of

long-distance radio communications.

Fabian Society

The Fabian Society is a socialist association founded in London in 1883 which

aims at the reorganisation of society by the emancipation of land and capital

from individual and class ownership, and the vesting of them in the community

for the general benefit.


Fabliau is a form of early French literature consisting of short versified

tales, comic in spirit and intended primarily for recitation. They were mainly

written between the 12th and 14th centuries in northern France, and caricature

every subject, but particularly women.


Faeces is the term applied to egested food.

Fairlop Oak

The Fairlop Oak was a 500 year old oak tree with a trunk 14 meters in

circumference in Hainault forest, Essex. Beneath its branches an annual fair

was long held on the first Friday in July. It was blown down in 1820.


Fallow is land left unsown for a period, usually a year. Fallowing is an

ancient process, it has been known for centuries that the same crop frown on

the same land deteriorates after a few years, partly because the soil is

exhausted and partly because of disease. By leaving the land for a year, it can

recover and subsequent crops improve.

Fan Tan

see "Sevens"


The fandango is a Spanish dance involving lively movements accompanied by the

chatter of castanets, snapping of fingers, and stamping of feet.


Fantan is a Chinese gambling game, in which bets are made on any corner of a

rectangular card, with numbered corners. When bets have been made the banker

places on the table a head of counters and divides them into fours. The winning

number is decided by the number of counters in the last batch; if one counter

is left over, number one wins, if 2 number 2 and so on. Fantan is a gambling

card game for any number of players, played with a full deck of 52 cards.


In music, a fantasia is a more or less impromptu composition bound by no formal



Fantoccini was a puppet play popular in Italy in the 15th century and in

England and Germany in the 18th century.


The farad is the unit of measurement of electrical capacitance. A capacitor has

a capacitance of one farad if a quantity of one coulomb has to be imparted to

it in order to raise the potential difference between the plates by one volt.

More convenient units for small capacitances are the microfarad and the


Faraday Cage

The Faraday cage is an earthed metallic wire or gauze screen enclosing

electrical equipment to shield it from the influence of external electric


Faraday Screen

A Faraday screen is an earthed wire screen placed in an equipment so as to

prevent electrostatic but not electromagnetic coupling between components.


Faradisation is the medical application of electro-magnetic fields, named after

Faraday who discovered such fields in 1837.


Faro is an old gambling card game, possibly of Italian origin.


A farthingale was a hoop made of whalebone or wood and used in its most extreme

form in the 17th century as a support for widespreading skirts. The farthingale

originated in Spain and was the precursor of the crinoline.


Fasces were bundles of wooden rods made of elm or birch strapped together with

an axe whose head protruded at right angles from the sticks. The fasces

symbolised the authority of the senior magistrates of ancient Rome and were

carried by the lictors who preceded them.


Fascism is a political movement which originated in Italy, deriving its name

from fasces, and which holds that the individual exists for the State, to whose

good all his work and interests should be directed. Fascism originated in Milan

in 1919, as a movement started by Benito Musolini.


Fathom is a nautical measurement, being two metres.

Fatty acid

A fatty acid is an organic hydrocarbon with a carboxyl group at one end.

Feast of Circumcision

The Feast of Circumcision was a Roman Catholic festival celebrated on January

the 1st in honour of the circumcision of Christ, and in opposition to the pagan

feast of Janus held on the same day. Whereas the pagan festival was celebrated

with feasting, the christian festival was celebrated with fasting.

Feast of Fools

The Feast of Fools was a mediaeval Christian celebration and merry-making.


February (named from the Italian Februus) is the second month of the year, in

which were celebrated Februa, feasts on behalf of the manes of deceased persons.

Federal State

A Federal State is a perpetual union of several sovereign States, which has

organs of its own and is invested with powers over the member-States and their

citizens. This direct power over the citizens of its member-States

distinguishes a federate-State from a confederation.


A federation is a union of States in which the participants retain autonomy in

local matters, while a Central Government determines questions of common



Feet is the plural of foot.

Fehling's Solution

Fehling's Solution is a laboratory reagent consisting of a solution containing

copper sulphate, caustic soda and a double tartrate of potassium and sodium

(Rochelle salt). Fehling's solution is used in the laboratory as a method for

the quantitative examination of sugars.

Fell Running

Fell Running is an endurance test for both distance runners and mountaineers,

deriving its name from the hills of northern England where it is mainly



Felo-de-se is latin for a felon with regard to himself, and is an old term

describing someone who commits suicide. Until 1823 it was the practice in

England to bury suicides at a cross-roads with a stake driven through the body,

but a statute of that year directed burial in a churchyard or burial-ground,

without religious service, between the hours of 9pm and midnight. In 1882 both

these restrictions were removed.


Felt is a fabric which is not woven, but made of fibres, usually wool, which

when subjected to beating and vibration grip one another in the form of layers.


A felucca is a fast Mediterranean sailing vessel used chiefly for fishing. It

is long and narrow, with a high bow and large lateen sails.


Fermentation is the breakdown of sugars by bacteria and yeast.


Fermium is a man made, radioactive metal element with the symbol Fm. It is

named after Enrico Fermi.

Ferrar's Arrest

In March 1542, George Ferrar, a member of parliament, while in attendance on

the house was taken in execution by a sheriff's officer for debt, and committed

to the Compter prison. The house despatched their serjeant to require his

release, which was resisted, and an affray taking place, his mace was broken.

The house in a body repaired to the lords to complain, when the contempt was

adjudged to be very great, and the punishment of the offenders was referred to

the lower house. On another messenger being sent to the sheriff's by the

commons, they delivered up the senator, and the civil magistrates and the

dreditor were committed to the Tower, the inferior officers to Newgate, and an

act was passed releasing Ferrar from liability for the debt. The king, Henry

VIII, approved of these proceedings and the transaction became the basis of the

rule of parliament which exempts members from arrest.


A ferret is a domesticated polecat.

Ferrite-rod Aerial

A ferrite-rod aerial is a receiving aerial consisting of a small coil mounted

on a short rod of magnetic ferrite. The coil is, in effect, a small frame

aerial, and the function of the ferrite rod is to concentrate the magnetic flux

from a large area surrounding the aerial. Like all frame aerials the

ferrite-rod aerial has pronounced directional properties. Its main advantage

however lies in its compact dimensions.


Ferrites are a class of chemical compounds having the general formulae MFe2O4,

where M is a divalent metal. Certain of these compounds are ferromagnetic, and

possess in addition other properties which render them valuable for use in

electric circuit components operating at high frequencies.


Ferrochrome is various alloys of iron and chromium employed in the manufacture

of steel.


Ferromagnetic is a term applied to materials such as iron, cobalt, nickel and

certain alloys, which have a magnetic permeability very much greater than unity

and which varies with the strength of the applied field.


Ferrous is a chemistry term referring to materials which contain iron.

Fescennine Verses

The Fescennine Verses were ancient indigenous Roman songs, composed extempore,

and recited at rustic merry-makings, particularly weddings. They were generally

playfully abusive or licentious.

Fibre Optics

Fibre Optics is a technology using light as a digital information bearer. Fibre

optic cables ( light guides ) are a direct replacement for conventional wire,

coaxial cable and many forms of radio, including microwave. Fibre optic lines

actually cost less, occupy less space and provided far more transmission

capacity than earlier methods, while providing superior quality due to virtual

immunity to electrical interference.


Fibroin (Fibrosin) is an albuminoid protein which forms over 50 per cent of



Fidelio is Beethoven's only opera. It was composed in 1804 and produced at

Vienna in 1805.


FidoNet is a world-wide hobbyist network of personal computers which exchange

mail, discussion groups, and files. It was founded in 1984 and originally

consisting only of IBM PCs and compatibles, FidoNet now includes such diverse

machines as Apple IIs, Ataris, Amigas, and UNIX systems.


A fife is a small flute originating from Switzerland and used in military bands.


The filbert is a nut of the cultivated variety of hazel.

FileMaker II

FileMaker II by Claris, was a database publishing tool that combined file

management and form generation to give impressive visual impact. FileMaker II

supported full font and size control and line and box drawing. It was a good

product for generating business forms and was compatible with Macintosh

networks such as ApphShare and TOPS. FileMaker II could be used to create and

run scripts for automating repetitive jobs such as printing mailing labels and

performing searches. Although FileMaker II was not considered a relational

database, its look-up function gave it some relational attributes that let

users copy data from other files when the key fields matched. Even though

FileMaker II stored all the working records on disk and not in RAM, it searched

database files quickly because each word was automatically indexed. Picture

fields were not indexed. Indexes enhance the speed of searches only not sorts,

so large data fits took some time to complete their sorts.

FileMaker II let you generate professional-quality reports and forms using an

interface similar to MacDraw.


Filigree is fine ornamental work of gold or silver wire, closely interlaced.


A fillet was a band worn as a head-dress in ancient times. In architecture, a

fillet is a band or listel used as a separation for mouldings.


In chemistry, filtration is the process of separating suspended particles from

a liquid by means of a porous medium.


Fins are expansions of the skin or body wall, or the equivalent of limbs, by

means of which aquatic animals preserve their balance and swim.

Fine Gael

Fine Gael is an Irish political party. It formed in 1921 from Sinn Fein and was

originally known as Cummann na nGaedheal until it changed its name in 1933. It

formed the first government of the Irish Free State.

Fine Reader 4

Fine Reader 4 is an optical character recognition program by Abby Software for

the PC running Windows 95 and Windows NT. Unlike other OCR systems it is very

tolerant of different fonts and has a very high success rate in recognising

text from a wide variety of printed sources, not just modern texts produced

using standard fonts.


Finger is a computer program that displays a particular user or all users

logged on the system or a remote system. Typically it shows the full name, last

login time, idle time, terminal line, and terminal location (where applicable).


Fire is the rapid liberation of heat by the chemical combination of various

substances with the oxygen of the air, a process known as combustion.

Fire of London

The Great Fire of London occurred in 1666, starting in Pudding Lane. It was

attributed to be a Catholic plot intended to destroy the Protestant city of

London. A monument to the fire was erected by sir Christopher Wren in 1671 -



Firedamp is the name given by miners to the explosive mixture of the

hydrocarbon methane with air, which sometimes occurs in coal-mines.


The firkin was a British measure equal to 56 lbs for butter and 64 lbs for

soap, and nine gallons of beer.

Fish Kettle

A fish kettle is a large oval-shaped saucepan, usually fitted with a perforated

tray with handles, and used for cooking fish.


In chemistry, fission is the disintegration of the nucleus of a heavy atom with

the liberation of large amounts of energy.

Five Hundred

Although Five Hundred is now the national card game of Australia, it was

invented in the USA, and promoted by the US Playing Card Company, who

copyrighted the rules in 1904. The game is called 500 because the first team

(or player) to reach a total score of at least 500 points wins. It is an

extension of Euchre, in which the following elements have been added: each

player is dealt 10 cards instead of 5, trump is not turned up, but is chosen by

whoever is willing to contract for the greatest number of tricks; the size of

the pack is adjusted, so that all the cards are dealt to the players except for

a kitty of three cards, which can be used by the highest bidder. From the

outset, special expanded decks with extra pip cards were made to allow the game

to be played by six people. In Australia, 500 is normally played by four

people, two playing against two in fixed partnerships; a similar version of the

game is played in New Zealand. The antipodean four-player versions of 500 will

be described first, followed by versions for other numbers of players. Five

Hundred is still played in North America as well, but the standard American

rules are rather different from the Australian game.


A fjord is a long, narrow inlet resulting from the subsidence of a mountainous

coast and the subsequent flooding of the valleys.


The flageolet is an old musical wind instrument, the ancestor of the modern tin



A flail is two pieces of wood joined by a leather thong or short metal chain

and used for threshing. One piece of wood is held and the other then swung.

Flaminian Way

The Flaminian Way was the great road from Rome to Arimium in Umbria, made under

the direction of Flaminius in 221 BC.


Flat-foot is a deformity of the foot in which the arch sinks so that the whole

extent of the sole is in contact with the ground.

Fleet Prison

Fleet Prison was a famous London Prison which stood in Farringdon Street, on

what was called Fleet Market, from the River Fleet which flowed into the

Thames. Its keeper was called the Warden of the Fleet. As far back as the 12th

century the Fleet served as a Royal Prison. In the reigns of Mary and Elizabeth

I it was used for religious martyrs and the political victims of the Star

Chambers. In 1641 it became a place of confinement for debtors and persons

committed for contempt of court, and rapidly acquired a notoriety for every

kind of brutality and extortion. It was destroyed and rebuilt several times

before being finally abolished in 1842.


The fleur-de-Lys (flower of lily) is an heraldic representation of an iris or

garden lily. It was the armorial bearing of the Kings of France from 1147 and

was also borne by some English families.


Flotsam are goods floating upon the sea, which belong to the Crown unless

claimed within a year and a day.


Flourine is a gaseous element with the symbol F.


The flower of a higher plant consists of one or two whorls of enveloping leaves

surrounding the stamen and carpels, which are the organs essential for sexual


Flower and Scorpion

Flower and Scorpion is a domino game, a variation of Bergen, for two to four

players using a double six set (28 dominoes). As in Bergen, players score for

making the free ends of the layout equal. In addition, two pairs of dice are

thrown before each hand to determine the flower, which gives a bonus when the

ends of the layout match it, and the scorpion, which gives a penalty when it is



The flugelhorn is a brass musical instrument.


Fluorescein is an organic compound obtained by heating together pthalic

anhydride and resorcinol. It is a red powder insoluble in water, but it

dissolves in alcohol and also in alkalis, giving a brilliant green

flourescence. It is used as a dye.


Fluorescence is the process of emission of electromagnetic radiation resulting

from the absorption of certain types of energy.


Fluoride is the salt of hydrofluoric acid.


Fluorine is a gaseous element with the symbol F belonging to the group known as

halogens. It is the most chemically reactive element (many substances ignite

spontaneously in it), and for this reason it is never found uncombined.


A fluorocarbon is a compound in which hydrogen atoms of a hydrocarbon have been

replaced with fluorine.


Fluorosis is chronic poisoning caused by drinking water containing excessive

amounts of fluoride. It results in discoloration of the teeth and a disabling

arthritis which chiefly affects the spine.


A fly-wheel is a heavy wheel whose inertia maintains a nearly uniform speed of

rotation under variable load or driving force. The revolving fly-wheel is a

reservoir of energy by virtue of its movement of inertia, and its effectiveness

depends on the amount of energy which it absorbs or gives up for a given change

of speed.

Flying Teapot

The Flying Teapot was a British Bulletin Board System (BBS) specialising in the

distributon of pirated software (warez) during the early 1990s.


A foal is a young horse.


Fodder is all manner of foods given to horses, cattle, and other animals. It

includes grass or any plant eaten green, or the same dried for convenience or

for use in winter, and grain, beans, peas etc. or artificial products made from

any nutritional material.


Fog is a cloud that collects at the surface of the earth without any definite



In geography, a fohn is a hot, dry, local Alpine wind produced by the

desiccation of an air current in passing over the mountain ranges and its

subsequent heating by compression on being drawn into the denser valley



In metallurgy, foil is a term for a thin sheet of metal intermediate between a

leaf, such as gold leaf, and sheet metal. It varies in thickness according to

the constituent metal or metals. Very thin tin foil is used for backing

mirrors, and in chemistry and electronics.

Folded dipole

A folded dipole is a dipole aerial consisting of two conductors in parallel,

only one of which is broken at the centre for connection to the feeder. This

construction increases the bandwidth and the centre impedance of the aerial.

Folic acid

Folic acid is a B vitamin essential for growth, and plays many other roles in

the body. A lack of folic acid causes anaemia because it is necessary for the

synthesis of nucleic acids and the formation of red blood cells.


Folio is a sheet of paper folded once to make two leaves of a book or

manuscript, and hence the term is given to paper of a large size used for this



Fondant is a soft sweet made of flavoured sugar.


A font is a vessel, generally of stone, used in the Christian Church for

holding the water for the sacrament of Holy Baptism.

Food Council

The Food Council was a body formed in 1925 on the advice of a Royal Commission

to investigate charges of food profiteering and to take action in such cases.

It had few powers, and the natural fall in prices soon made it unnecessary,

however the Food Council did sponsor the Weights and Measures Act of 1926.


Foolscap is a regular paper size of 13.5 by 16.5 inches, so called because it

was originally water-marked with a fool's head and cap.


The foot is a unit of the imperial scale of measurement of length equivalent to

12 inches or 30.48 centimetres.


In computing, footprint refers to the floor or desk area taken up by a piece of



The forecastle is a short deck in the forepart of a warship. In merchant ships

it is the forepart of the ship where the sailors live.


A forelock is a wedge put through a hole in a bolt to keep the bolt in place.


The foresheets is the inner part of the bows of an open boat where the bowman



Forest is a term properly applied to an extensive woodland or to a large tract

of mingland woodland and open uncultivated land. In English law, a forest was a

territory privileged for game generally belonging to the sovereign and set

aside for his recreation.


Forestry is the business of growing, harvesting and marketing trees and of

managing the associated wildlife and recreational resources.


A forge is a blacksmith's fireplace or furnace for melting and refining metal.


Formaldehyde (methyl aldehyde) is the simplest representative of the aldehydes.

It has the formula H.CHO, and is a colourless and very pungent gas. It is very

soluble in water. It has a powerful preserving effect and is used in aqueous

solution for preserving anatomical specimens.


Formalin is an aqueous solution of formaldehyde (40 per cent) and often 15 per

cent methyl alcohol. It is used as a disinfectant and as a preservative.

Formic Acid

Formic acid is the lowest member of the fatty acids. It has the formula H.COOH

and is found in nature in ants, stinging nettles, and in various parts of the

animal body. Commercially it is used in tanning and electro-plating. Its

artificial production was developed by Pelouze in 1831.


FormTool by Bloc development is a computer forms editor that lets users create

forms such as time sheets, expense reports, or activity logs. FormTool can draw

vertical and horizontal lines, boxes, and grids. One keystroke can create

page-wide lines or change a line into a double line. A drag mode lets you

position blocks and copy or move them within or between forms using the

windowing facility. FormTool can extract data from dBase, DIF, and ASCII files

to merge into template forms. You can also create a form, fill it in on the

screen, and print the form and data together. The on-screen data entry

capabilities are limited, however. FormTool includes a forms database to sort

and organise forms. Information about the forms includes date created, form

name, and degree of complexity. A unique quick view lets you see forms before

selecting them. The product works with standard-width paper sizes and lets you

customise for odd sizes up to a width of 13.2 inches and a height of 13.3

inches. An automatic form sizer determines form size based on file size; this

is a particularly useful feature when using the file importing utility.


In chemistry, a formula is an expression of the constituents of a compound by



Formulin is a mixture of 67% methanol and 33% formaldehyde used as to preserve

specimens and as a fumigant. It causes vertigo, anxiety and panic attacks if


Forth and Clyde Canal

The Forth and Clyde Canal is a canal linking the seas of the eastern and

western coasts of Scotland. It was started by Smeaton in 1768 and opened in



Fortis is a powerful explosive invented in Belgium in 1887 and intended for



Fortissimo is a musical term directing the singers to sing with the utmost

strength and loudness.


Forty-Fives is a card game descended from the Irish game Spoil Five. It is much

played among the Irish population in the New World - especially in Nova Scotia

- the most popular version being one with bidding, technically known as Auction

Forty-Fives, and also sometimes called One Hundred and Twenty, which is more

logical given that 120 is the target score and the number 45 has no relevance

to the game.

Foucault Current

see "Eddy Current"

Foundling Hospital

Foundling hospitals were charitable institutions for the care of children

abandoned by their parents. They were first founded to reduce instances of

infanticide during the 7th and 8th centuries by church authorities and their

numbers increased rapidly during the Middle Ages, especially in France.


A fountain-pen is a refillable pen which carries its own supply of ink which

runs to the writing point as required from a reservoir in the holder.

Fowler's Solution

Fowler's Solution is a solution of potassium arsenite, prepared by boiling

together arsenic trioxide and potassium bicarbonate in water. It was used in

medicine as a mild tonic for digestive disorders.


The fox-trot is a ball-room dance danced against jazz music.


Foxbase+ is a developmental tool based on the dBase data structure and

programming language. Foxbase+ creates files with a .FOX extension which must

be run with either Foxbase+ Development or Foxbase+ Runtime. A runtime version

is necessary to distribute programs to other users. Under the runtime version,

Foxbase+ programs may be executed but not modified. The runtime version ensures

the integrity of source code by only allowing users with the development

program access to the source code. Foxbase+ includes an interpreter similar to

dBase from which you can run Foxbase+ programs or any uncompiled dBase III Plus

program. In fact, you can run almost any dBase III Plus command from the

Foxbase+ dot prompt without worrying about incompatibility. The Product's

Assistant is similar to that in dBase III Plus. Foxbase+ has many features that

make it easy to use, such as the FoxCentral interface, which allows novice

users to take advantage of Foxbase+'s features. A screen and code generator is

also included.


FoxPro is the PC version of FoxBASE+/Mac. It is a relational database with a

report generator, application generator, and screen painter. Although it is a

character-based product, it has some features of a graphical interface:

pull-down and pop-up menus, buttons, check boxes, and scroll bars. FoxPro can

be used for simple data entry, query and report applications, or complex

menu-driven user applications. For less experienced users, it offers an

easy-to-use, mouse-driven interface; for developers, it offers an interactive

syntactical mode. There are step-by-step tutorials geared to four levels of

experience. Most functions run in their own window. Colours can be assigned to

any screen area. Applications created in Foxbase+ and dBase III Plus are fully



A frail is a rush basket for packing figs and raisins.


The Fram was a three-masted schooner built in 1892 for Nansen's expedition to

the Arctic, and used by Amundsen in the Antarctic in 1911.


Ashton-Tate's Framework is a decision support tool designed to help you

organise and analyse all the information encountered in the daily work

environment. Framework III contains a spreadsheet, database, word processor

with outlining, graphics, and communications with electronic mail. By combining

all the software tools typically needed, Framework III lets the user switch

from one function or one project to another without changing disks or leaving

the program. The word processing module in Framework III is the central feature

of this product. It includes an 80,000-word spell checker and a thesaurus;

foreign language disks are available for each of these features. You can

generate tables of contents, footnote documents, and see formatting such as

bold, italics, subscript, and superscript onscreen. Framework III's extremely

powerful outlining capability makes the product a perfect choice for

professionals who often need to organise and re-organise lengthy documents into

many sections with subheadings and titles. Documents can include spreadsheet

and database information as well as graphics. Electronic mail capabilities are

integrated into Framework III's pull-down menus. Framework III users can

communicate with each other or users of other compatible network mail programs.

The electronic mail feature uses the MHS (Message Handling Service) format.


Franckincense is a gum resin obtained from trees of the genus Boswellia, used

in the making of incense and in ancient times in medicine.


Frangulin is a yellow crystallizable dye extracted from the bark of the alder.

It is used to dye wool, silk and cotton.


Frankincense is an incense derived from the resin of the tree boswellia.


Originally, franking was the right of sending letters free of charge. It was

claimed for letters both sent and received by the House of Commons in 1660, and

fully legalised in 1764 when all members of both Houses were allowed to send 10

and receive 15 letters a day gratis. The privilege was withdrawn on the

introduction of the penny postage in 1840. Today the term is most commonly

applied to the mechanical stamping of letters and parcels in place of fixing an

adhesive stamp.

Franklin Aerial

The Franklin aerial is a directional aerial consisting of a number of radiating

elements, uniformly spaced on a line at right angles to the desired direction

of maximum radiation.

Free Lance

The term Free Lance was originally a soldier who fought as a mercenary for

anyone who would pay him for his service. Now the term is applied to anyone who

works for anyone who will pay them, but is not on the regular staff of any

company, such as a writer for example.

Free Libraries

Free Libraries are libraries supported by municipalities, counties or

charitable organisations etc. available to the public without charge. The first

was established in Manchester in 1653.


Freebench was an English right of a woman during her widowhood to an interest,

generally one-third, in her late husband's copyhold land. It was abolished in



FreeForm by Herne Data Systems Ltd formats all styles of standard DOS disks, as

well as non-DOS disks, and customized DOS disks (i.e you can make up your own

copy protection schemes). It gives complete control over formatting parameters

such as sector size, disk density, number of sectors and tracks. It is menu

driven, and includes user configurable formatting parameters.


Aldus Freehand is a comprehensive drawing program for the Mac that lets you

produce high-quality graphics on PostScript output devices. It combines a wide

range of drawing tools with colour support, automatic tracing for imported

images, special effects, and advanced text-handling capabilities to create a

variety of line-oriented illustrations including technical, scientific, and

architectural illustrations. Its curve-handling capabilities and colour support

provide flexibility for more sophisticated illustration. Freehand has strong

text manipulation capabilities. Each block of text is considered an element and

can be rotated, mirrored, skewed, and resized.


Freemasonry is a cult with a secret ritual, considered by some to have

originated with Solomon and the building of the Temple, but in its modern form

dating from the mid 18th century when the Grand Lodges of England, Scotland and

Ireland were constituted. Members are mainly well-to-do businessmen.


In computing, freeware refers to free software, often written by enthusiasts

and distributed by users' groups, or via electronic mail, local bulletin

boards, USENET, or other electronic media. At one time, `freeware' was a

trademark of Andrew Fluegelman, the author of the well-known MS-DOS

communications program PC-TALK III. It wasn't enforced after his mysterious

disappearance and presumed death in 1984.


French is a term used to denote someone or something from France.

French Chalk

French Chalk is a form of steatite or talc, used by tailors for marking cloth

for which its softness and burability on the material make it very suitable. It

is also used as a dusting agent to prevent adhesion of a tacky surface, as a

filler in plastics and to polish floors. It can be distinguished from ordinary

chalk by its greasy feel.

French Revolution

The French Revolution occured in 1789 and overthrew the despotic Bourbon

Monarchy, only to itself be overthrown by the Empire of Napoleon. In 1830

another revolution overthrew the again reigning monarchy, and again in 1848.

French Tarot

French Tarot is a trick taking card game played by three or four players with a

78-card deck of Tarot cards.

Freon 150

see "Dichloroethane"

Frequency Drift

Frequency drift is a phenomenon which affects electronic circuits. It is

variations in the natural frequency of an oscillatory circuit of an oscillator

due for example, to changes of capacitance with changes of temperature.

Frequency Modulation

Frequency modulation is a system of radio transmission in which the amplitude

of the carrier remains constant but the frequency is varied in accordance with

the amplitude of the modulating waveform. In frequency modulation the loudness

of the applied audio-frequency modulation is represented by the amount of

change of carrier frequency, and the frequency of the signal is represented by

the number of times the carrier frequency is changed every second.


A fresco is a painting done on plaster.


In architecture, a fret is a decorative pattern consisting of a continuous

series of short, straight lines or bars joining one another or interlacing,

usually at right angles.


Friday is the fifth day of the week, the name derives from the Saxon

Frige-doeg, the day sacred to Freya.

Frith Gild

A Frith Gild was a Saxon voluntary association of neighbours for purposes of

order and self-defence. They repressed theft, traced stolen cattle and

indemnified parties robbed from a common fund raised by subscription of the



Microsoft FrontPage is a collection of computer programs for Web site managers.

It includes the FrontPage Editor which is a WYSIWYG Web page editor, the

FrontPage Explorer can show you your site in both hierarchical and graphical

views and the FrontPage TCP/IP Test checks your machine for a Winsock layer, IP

address, and other items needed to establish a connection to the Internet. It

also includes a personal web server and server administration programs.


Fructose (fruit-sugar or laevulose) is a simple and very sweet sugar found in

plant juices, fruit and honey. It is a mono-saccharose, white, crystalline



Fruit is a botanical term for the mature ovary of a plant comprised of two

parts, the pericarp and the seed.


see "Fructose"


FTP is the user interface to the ARPAnet File Transfer Protocol. It is a

computer program that allows a user to transfer files to and from a remote

networked site.


see "Magenta"

Full Duplex

Full Duplex is a communications term referring to a circuit which allows

independent transmission information in both directions simultaneously. -

Synonym: In wire telephony, 4 wire circuit.


Fulminates are the metallic salts of fulminic acid. They can be made by

dissolving a metal in strong nitric acid and adding alcohol. The fulminate is

then precipitated. Fulminates are highly explosive compounds used for the

manufacture of detonators.

Funicular Railway

A funicular railway is a railway for transporting passengers up a steep

incline. They often run on the principle of balance, two carriages of equal

weight being joined by a long cable which passes over a pulley at the upper

end. Small power is required at the pulley to bring one car up the slope while

the other descends.


The furlong is a unit of the imperial scale of measurement of length equivalent

to 10 chains, 220 yards or 201.168 metres. The name furlong derives from



see "furlong"


a fuse is a slow burning cord or other mechanism for delaying igniting a

charge, such as a mine. Early fuses (slow-matches) were made of lightly twisted

hemp dipped in potassium nitrate and ignited. Modern fuses may be electrical

attached to a timer, or chemical in which an acid burns away a division in a

container holding two chemicals which ignite when combined.

Fusel Oil

Fusel oil is the residue left after removing the ethyl alcohol from various

liquors obtained by fermentation, potato spirit being the best source. Fusel

oil consists principally of isoamyl and normal amyl alcohols, together with

smaller amounts of butyl alcohol, and various aldehydes and esters. It is a

poisonous, unpleasant smelling, oily liquid principally used as a source of

amyl alcohol.

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