The meanings of the verb, which is first recorded in the 15c, and the noun, not recorded until the early 19c, do not correspond very well.
1. noun.
a) The earliest meaning of the noun is ‘a difficulty, predicament, dilemma’, which is originally AmE but was soon used in BrE as well, for example in a letter written by Charlotte Brontë in 1839:

It so happens that I can get no conveyance…so I am in a fix. This meaning remains common in BrE, although it still has a slight American flavour: Since she had vowed to remain celibate, she was in rather a fix when her father planned to marry her to the King of Sicily —B. Cottle, 1983


The patient will indeed be in a fix from which he may find it hard to extricate himself —C. Rycroft, 1985

b) From the 1930s in the US, a dose of a narcotic drug came to be called a fix-up and then a fix, and this use (only fix) spread into BrE in the 1950s with the increased circulation of hard drugs such as heroin:

A weird scene where the dope peddlers gather to beat up Johnny, who gets more into debt with each ‘fix’Oxford Mail, 1958


He needed her as a drug addict needs his fix —Iris Murdoch, 1985

. From this drugs meaning other figurative meanings soon developed:

Many people seem addicted to exercise and get depressed if they don't get their daily fixGuardian, 1984


What food can't you live without? A weekly fix of my mum's Sunday roastSouth Wales Echo, 2007

c) A quick (or cheap) fix is a hasty remedy that deals with a difficulty in the short term; the expression is recorded first in a hyphened adjectival form from the 1950s, a use which remains common:

Quick-fix reflectors and diffusers, heavy duty bi-pin lampholdersArchitectural Review, 1959


The most recent ‘quick-fix’, suggests the committee, is desaltingNew Scientist, 1966


For them conventional war has been lived through and they think nuclear weapons are a cheap fix to deter it–Green Magazine, 1990 / If anyone thinks it will be easy, I would urge them to think again about these quick-fix training gimmicksStoke Sentinel, 2007

2. verb. There are three uses of the verb that call for comment, all American in origin and one still exclusively so.
a) (Also to fix up.) ‘To prepare (food or drink).’ You must fix me a drink, Fanny Trollope said in her Domestic Manners of the Americans (1839); and Bret Harte, an American writer, wrote in a work of 1891, Mother'll fix you suthin' hot. The use is familiar in BrE, but is still regarded as an Americanism:

When I am quite exhausted, go and cook a meal, fix a drink —Nina Bawden, 1981


There would be waiters who'd fix you a drink and there would be a little buffet and people would go swimming in the nude in the poolScotsman, 2006

b) (Also to fix up.) ‘To mend or repair (something broken or not working).’ This meaning is first recorded in AmE in the late 18c, and has spread to other varieties of English:

Other men would have fixed that fuse in a few secondsNews of the World, 1990

c) The informal American expression to be fixing to (do something), meaning ‘to be about to or preparing to’ (do it), first recorded in 1716, is still hardly ever encountered outside the US:

If you're after Lily, she come in here while ago and tole me she was fixin' to git married —E. Welty, c.1980


Mr Bush produced a Pittsburgh couple who, he said, were ‘fixing to get married’, and explained that they would pay an additional $ 996…under current tax rules ‘when they say “I do”’Times, 2000


Modern English usage. 2014.

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