fey "of excitement that presages death," from O.E. fæge "doomed to die, fated, destines," also "timid, feeble;" and/or from O.N. feigr, both from P.Gmc. *faigjo- (Cf. O.S. fegi, O.Fris. fai, M.Du. vege, M.H.G. veige "doomed," also "timid," Ger. feige "cowardly"), from PIE *peig- "evil-minded, hostile" (see FOE (Cf. foe)). Preserved in Scottish. Sense of "displaying unearthly qualities" and "disordered in the mind (like one about to die)" led to modern ironic sense of "affected."

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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