In the episode 5 of season 1 of the British television series Misfits the character Nathan Young says:

We have outfoxed the fox, which makes us very bloody foxy.


What does it mean in the context? My understanding after searching is something along the lines of:

We were more clever deceiving them than them to us, which makes us way more deceitful than them.

Is that interpretation correct or is there something different in the context?

Asking since Kelly Bailey laughed when he said that, to which Nathan said:

You like that, huh? Yeah.

YouTube episode (clip from 5:31 to 5:38).

My search results are below with the parts that I believe matter.

Definition of outfox:

Defeat or deceive (someone) by being more clever or cunning than they are; outwit.

Definition of fox1:

2 A cunning or sly person.

Definition of bloody2:

1 informal attributive Used to express anger, annoyance, or shock, or simply for emphasis.

Definition of foxy:

1.1 informal Cunning or sly in character.

Definition of cunning:

1 Having or showing skill in achieving one's ends by deceit or evasion.

Definition of [deceit][10]:

The action or practice of deceiving someone by concealing or misrepresenting the truth.

  • Yes, but please look at the guidelines for quality questions given in the Help Center. Dictionary definitions, linked and attributed, are required (and would provide your answer). Feb 14, 2020 at 16:25
  • 1
    Foxy can mean "sexually attractive", (as in Hendrix's Foxy Lady) and that's probably the intended meaning here. Feb 14, 2020 at 16:29
  • 1
    Yes, the first two uses of fox meant sly and cunning, but the last use of fox (in foxy) means sexy. It's a pun. Feb 14, 2020 at 16:30
  • @EdwinAshworth I'm a little bit lost. Where in the Help Center? If you mean the searching part, I did googled define outfoxed, define fox, define bloody and define foxy. Feb 14, 2020 at 16:32
  • But this is reasonable research, and reasonable research should be shown, with a link and attribution. Feb 14, 2020 at 17:33

2 Answers 2


Your understanding is correct.

To outfox [something/someone]: to be more cunning [than something/someone]; to outwit.

A fox = an animal traditionally seen as being cunning.

Foxy = (i) crafty, cunning. (ii) U.S. slang. Of a woman: attractive, desirable, pretty; sexy.

  • The downvote is really because this LMGTFY (let me google that for you) offering is inappropriate on ELU. But the downvote is totally justified as your answer is either lacking authoritative references, or lacking (legally!) required linked attributions. And this is not the first time. Feb 14, 2020 at 17:36

As cunning as a fox’ - simile

If you are clever enough to outwit, or trick, the fox, then you must be clever indeed, for a fox is an animal traditionally known for its cunning or wit.

The sentence means that you must be more cunning than he. Making you - ‘foxier than a fox!’

Outwit means ‘to get the better of’ or ‘to outsmart’ meaning to defeat by being more clever than.

I suggest you stay away from the word ‘deceive’ when trying to understand this sentence - although deceit may be a part of ‘cunning’ - cunning is the traditional behaviour attributed to the fox, at least in the UK.

Cunning, and sly. Cunning means ‘cleverly pushing forward one’s own best interests’ and sly means ‘clever in a sneaky, secretly self-interested way’.

Consider the fox in Pinnoccio, in the cartoon - one of the two sneaky characters trying to lead Pinoccio astray, is a fox. Displaying ‘cunning behaviour’ - self-interest.

The idea that ‘foxy’ is also ‘sexy’ is fairly modern, ushered in perhaps by Jimi Hendrix as commenters have suggested - however that emanated from the US and only caught on from around the 80s/90s in the UK to my memory (I’m from the UK).

Another example of this kind of sentence: ‘An idea so cunning, that you could stick a tail on it, and call it a weasel!’ Says Rowan Atkinson the comedian in ‘Blackadder’. The weasel being another animal known for cunning. Again, likening ‘a very clever thing’ to an animal also known for its cunning.

As cunning as a fox is a simile, in English. The fox is also depicted as ‘cunning’ in stories such as Aesop’s fables.

Meaning: ‘we are cleverer than the fox - which makes us very clever indeed!’

Definition: Cunning https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/cunning

Simile: As cunning as a fox https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/figures-similes-list.htm

Definition: Outwit https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/outwit

Fables, The Fox and the Crow, Aesop https://literarydevices.net/fable/

Pinnoccio Fox character ‘Honest John’ https://disney.fandom.com/wiki/Honest_John

Rowan Atkinson as Edmund Blackadder ‘call it a weasel’ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092324/characters/nm0000100

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