Mobile Banner


a weakness or eccentricity


foible = eine kleine Schwäche oder Eigenart, die als liebenswerter oder verzeihlicher Aspekt der Persönlichkeit einer Person angesehen wird (Marotte, Eigenheit, Schwäche, schwache Seite)



“A boss’s FOIBLES can be a delight. A workplace free of all management fixations would be a very dull place indeed”

Pilita Clark - Financial Times (23rd February 2023)

Did you


- a minor weakness or eccentricity in someone's character

- the weakest part of a sword blade, from the middle to the point

Oxford Languages / Merriam-Webster


The word "foible" comes from the French word faible, which means weak. It entered the English language in the late 1600s and was used to describe a weak point or failing in a person's character.

The term has since evolved to refer to a minor flaw or idiosyncrasy that is considered to be an endearing or forgivable aspect of someone's personality.


Chanel No. 5, one of the earliest fragrances to bear a designer's name, is a tribute to Coco Chanel's lucky number.

In 1920, she enlisted the services of Ernest Beaux, a Russian-born Frenchman and former perfumer to the tsars in Russia, to create her first perfume. After ten months of hard work, Beaux presented ten different vials numbered one to five and twenty to twenty-four for the fashion icon's review. Coco Chanel chose the fifth vial, perhaps due to superstition.

She reportedly told Beaux, "I launch my dress collections on the fifth of May, the fifth month of the year, and so we will let this sample number five keep the name it already has; it will bring good luck." And it did. By 1929, Chanel No. 5 had become the world's best-selling perfume and remains one of the most timeless scents in history.

To this day, a new bottle of the iconic fragrance is reportedly sold every 30 seconds.


- a minor weakness or eccentricity in someone's character

blemish, chink in armour, defect, dorkiness, eccentricity, failing, FOIBLE, flaw, frailty, glitch, hang-up, idiosyncrasy, imperfection, inimitableness, kink, mannerism, mark, megrim, odd trait, originality, peculiarity, peccadillo, quirk, quirkiness, shortcoming, shortfall, singularity, tinge, unorthodoxness, unorthodoxy, weak point (spot), whim, whimsy

While all these words mean "an imperfection or weakness of character", foible applies specifically to a harmless or endearing weakness or idiosyncrasy.

SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like:

“Did you know that Abraham Lincoln had a charming FOIBLE — a tendency to tell jokes and funny stories, even during serious conversations.”

HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations.

Every month, I spend evening and weekend hours with my family researching and writing your daily OWAD. It remains FREE, AD-free, and ALIVE thanks to voluntary donations from appreciative readers.

If you aren’t already, please also consider supporting us - even the equivalent of a single cup of coffee a month will help us cover mailing, site hosting, and maintenance costs. Just head over to DonorBox:

or bank transfer to Paul Smith
IBAN: DE75 7316 0000 0002 5477 40
Please use your email-address as ‘Verwendungszweck’

Thank you,

More Word Quizzes: