Is ‘fer’ a somewhat usual spelling of ‘for’, or is it perhaps restricted to cricket (‘five-fer’)?

-fer

a suffix to any number, meaning the number of wickets taken by a team or bowler. (See also fifer/five-fer)

Wikipedia

I assume that ‘fer’ means, or is derived from, ‘for’ with the usually following number omitted. As you would say ‘5 for 46’ (in cricket; meaning 5 wickets for 46 runs against you; so ‘five-fer’ would indicate the number of wickets taken only).

Is ‘fer’ a somewhat usual spelling of ‘for’ or ‘for [something]’? Or is it only used in cricket? If so, how did that come about?

Answer

Fer is an informal version of for:

preposition, conjunction Informal.

for.

The suffix you are referring to as in twofer or fiver appears to derive from:

origin of twofer:

1885–90; from the phrase two for (the price of one, a nickel, etc.), with final (ər) humorously taken as -er; cf. gofer

-er:

a suffix used in forming nouns designating persons from the object of their occupation or labor (hatter; tiler; tinner; moonshiner), or from their place of origin or abode (Icelander; southerner; villager), or designating either persons or things from some special characteristic or circumstance (six-footer; three-master; teetotaler; fiver; tenner).

Dictionary.com

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