Word of the DayTuesday, August 20, 2002
A state or condition of fitness or order; state of mind; spirits -- often used in the phrase "in fine fettle."
Aside from the problems with her voice . . . Miss Garland was in fine fettle last night.
-- Vincent Canby, "Judy Garland Sets the Palace Alight", New York Times, August 1, 1967
Back in 1987, the Conservatives won a thumping majority in a June general election, primarily because the economy was seen by grateful voters to be in fine fettle.
-- Larry Elliott, "Danger of a recurring nightmare", The Guardian, June 18, 2001
Many of the nuns were in fine fettle, even into their 80s and 90s.
-- John McCrone, "Sisters of mercy", The Guardian, August 18, 2001
He seems in fine fettle when we meet, and happy to discuss the film that gave him his break.
-- Charlotte O'Sullivan, "Naked ambition", The Guardian, February 7, 1999
Fettle is from Middle English fetlen, "to set in order," originally "to gird up," from Old English fetel, "a girdle."
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