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1960s North London (UK) playground slang/shout used to opt out of a game temporarily, or to prevent yourself being tagged in a game. Often it is accompanied be crossing the fingers and the arms in front of your chest and standing still.

The call can also be used to suspend a whole game temporarily, for example when an adult walks across a football pitch

Said to be derived from the Old English "Fain would I..." or "I do not want to..."
"I was about to be tagged, but I shouted "fainites" so he went on and tagged someone else."

"I was just about to boot the ball when an old lady walked across the playground and someone shouted "fainites".
by Flemingovia June 18, 2006
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