- gay, spreeish, unsteady, thoughtless,—an Americanism that has of late ascended from the streets to the drawing-room. The word has certainly now a distinct meaning, which it had not thirty years ago. QUICK is the synonym for FAST, but a QUICK MAN would not convey the meaning of a FAST MAN,—a person who, by late hours, gaiety, and continual rounds of pleasure, lives too fast, and wears himself out. In polite society a FAST young lady is one who affects mannish habits, or makes herself conspicuous by some unfeminine accomplishment,—talks slang, drives about in London, smokes cigarettes, is knowing in dogs, horses, &c. An amusing anecdote is told of a fast young lady, the daughter of a right reverend prelate, who was an adept in horseflesh. Being desirous of ascertaining the opinion of a candidate for ordination, who had the look of a bird of the same feather, as to the merits of some cattle just brought to her father’s palace for her to select from, she was assured by him they were utterly unfit for a lady’s use. With a knowing look at the horses’ points, she gave her decision in these choice words, “Well, I agree with you; they _are_ a rum lot, as the devil said of the ten commandments.” Charles Dickens once said that “fast,” when applied to a young man, was only another word for loose, as he understood the term; and a fast girl has been defined as a woman who has lost her respect for men, and for whom men have lost their respect.
- embarrassed, wanting money, tied up. Sometimes synonymous with “hard up.”—_Yorkshire._
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