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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

character in "Oliver Twist" (1838); used for "trainer of thieves" by 1842.

Fagin (comics)
  1. Redirect List of Brotherhood of Mutants members

Category:Marvel Comics characters with superhuman strength Category:Marvel Comics mutants Category:Marvel Comics supervillains


Fagin is a fictional antagonist in Charles Dickens's novel Oliver Twist. In the preface to the novel he is described as a "receiver of stolen goods", but within the text he is more frequently identified as the "merry old gentleman" or simply "the Jew." He is the leader of a group of children ( the Artful Dodger and Charley Bates among them) whom he teaches to make their livings by pickpocketing and other criminal activities, in exchange for shelter. A distinguishing trait is his constant—and insincere—use of the phrase "my dear" when addressing others. At the time of the novel, he is said by another character, Monks, to have already made criminals out of "scores" of children. Bill Sikes, one of the novel's major villains, is hinted to be one of Fagin's old pupils, and Nancy, Sikes's lover, is confirmed as such.

Although portrayed humorously, Fagin is a self-confessed miser who, despite the wealth he has acquired, does very little to improve the squalid lives of the children he guards. In the second chapter of his appearance, he is shown (when talking to himself) that he cares less for their welfare, than that they do not "peach" (inform) on him and the other children. Still darker sides to the character's nature are shown when he beats the Artful Dodger for not bringing Oliver back; in his attempted beating of Oliver for trying to escape; and in his own involvement with various plots and schemes throughout the story. He indirectly but intentionally causes the death of Nancy by falsely informing Sikes that she had betrayed him, when in reality she had shielded Sikes from the law; whereupon Sikes kills her. Near the end of the book, Fagin is captured and sentenced to be hanged, in a chapter that portrays him as pitiable in his anguish.

In popular culture, Fagin (or at least his name) is used in comparison with adults who use children for illegal activities.

Fagin (disambiguation)

Fagin may refer to:

  • Fagin, a character in Oliver Twist
  • Dan Fagin
  • Ronald Fagin
    • Fagin's theorem

Usage examples of "fagin".

Then Fagin pushed hard for some sort of gas attack, which Banish rejected as well, saying that the Abies family might have gas masks themselves and, if so, the agents and marshals going in would be facing a slaughter.

They nodded at each other cursorily, then Fagin stepped off and scanned the clearing again, as though looking for a good place to spit.

SAC Perkins and Deputy Marshal Fagin remained there watching him walk away.

Perkins recognized this as Bureau negotiator standard operating procedure, though for Fagin it probably pegged Banish as a coward.

Marshals Service Special Operations Group under Deputy Supervisor Fagin will arrange perimeter cabin surveillance and containment, as well as staging-area security.

Perkins anticipated a blowout, but Fagin was remarkably self-contained.

Banish was done and reaching for his raincoat, inviting Fagin to follow him outside.

Another moment of pure silence, then Banish lowered the bullhorn and nodded across to Fagin, who hand-signaled his group to go.

The cabin showed no sign of life as the ten-legged creature backed away through the trees as slowly and as cautiously as it had approached, past the first twisted dog carcass, past the second, finally reentering the thickened wood where Fagin stood covering them from behind.

They were working at various stations around the cabin perimeter, making a lot of noise, clanking things, and Fagin was pretty sure he knew what they were up to, and it pissed him off.

It reeked of meddling and preferential treatment and string-pulling and sticky fingers and all the things about the Bureau that Fagin fucking despised.

A man in an FBI windbreaker was kneeling in the dark at the edge of the kill zone and Fagin thought at first that it was Banish, but upon closer examination saw that it was someone else, an agent in headphones mounting a microphone gun with a parabolic dish.

Blood was near enough to the black van earlier in the day to hear Banish and Fagin and the sound man entertaining potential strategies.

Banish shot down each proposal similarly, with stubborn reason, and there was nothing Fagin or the sound man could do to change his mind.

Blood started toward them fast, but before he could get there Fagin was standing between the two men.