Factory Commercial A trading port established in a foreign country by a chartered company. A factor was an agent or dealer who was employed to sell goods or merchandise.
Fag End Naval
To `fag' is to separate or tease out the strands of a rope; thus the fag end is the extreme end. This expression has no original connection with cigarettes.
Fanny Adams Naval Miss Fanny (or Frances) Adams was a child aged 9 who was murdered at Alton, Hants on 24th April 1867. The murderer (Frederick Baker, a solicitor's clerk aged 24) cut up the body into pieces some of which were said to have been found in Deptford Victualling yard. Baker was tried at Winchester and hanged in December 1867. At about this time tinned mutton was introduced into the Navy and somewhat naturally it soon acquired the name of Fanny Adams. The tins themselves were found very useful by the sailors as mess gear (there was no official issue of mess gear in those days) and to this day the name Fanny remains attached to the small round "mess kettle" (similar in appearance to a painter's pot - also called a kettle).
Fathom Naval A nautical measurement of six feet; it was the distance between the tips of middle fingers when the arms are outstretched sideways to their fullest extent (the word comes from the Danish (Viking) FAVN meaning "arms extended").
Fakir India A Holy Man (usually a poor one)
Fatwa India/Middle East/North Africa A decree issued by a Muslim religious leader.
Federation Legal/Administrative The formation of a larger political unit by the closer political association of those States or territories who have agreed to form such a union.
Feringhee India/Middle East/North Africa An unbeliever (usually meaning a Christian).
Fishing Fleet Naval A naval slang collective name for unmarried ladies, who frequent the Ladies' Lounge of the Union Club in Valletta, Malta (or other places where naval officers are much to be found ashore).
Fizgig Naval A three-pronged spear, similar to the trident as depicted held by Britannia on a penny.
Flogging a Dead Horse Naval Flogging or working a dead horse is doing something for nothing. It is a merchant navy term, a 'dead horse' being a slang term used to refer to an advance of pay given to seamen before commencing voyages in order that they may buy clothing etc., required on the trip. Thus, 'working a deadhorse' meant working for the first month without pay since that had already been drawn and spent. At the expiration of the first month of the voyage it was at one time customary to hoist in the rigging a canvas effigy of a horse.
Freeholder Legal/Administrative One who owns land free from any burdensome obligations to a superior landlord.