See also: Feist


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Alternative formsEdit


Earliest sense is “fart”, and later “stink” as abbreviation for fysting cur “stinking dog” (1520s). From Middle English fysten (mid-15th century), from Old English. Cognates with Middle Dutch veest and Dutch vijst. Possibly from Proto-Germanic *fistiz (a fart), presumably from Proto-Indo-European *pesd-, though this is disputed.[1]

One explanation for the association of farting with small dogs is given in an 1811 slang dictionary, which suggests that the dogs were blamed for farting, specifically defining fice as “a small windy escape backwards, more obvious to the nose than ears; frequently by old ladies charged on their lap-dogs.”[2]

Cognate terms include German Fist (soft fart), Danish fise (to blow, to fart) and Middle English askefise (bellows, literally fire-blower, ash-blower), from Old Norse; originally “a term of reproach among northern nations for an unwarlike fellow who stayed at home in the chimney corner”.[3]


  • IPA(key): /faɪst/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪst


feist (plural feists)

  1. (US, regional) A small, snappy, belligerent mixed-breed dog.
  2. (vulgar) Silent (but pungent) flatulence.
    Synonym: SBD

Usage notesEdit

The term feist is uncommon, but the derived term feisty is common.

Derived termsEdit


  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2021) , “feist”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
  2. ^ Classic 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue
  3. ^ OED




Etymology 1Edit

From Middle High German veizet, from Old High German feizzit, from Proto-West Germanic *faitid, whence also fett (through Middle Low German).


feist (comparative feister, superlative am feistesten)

  1. (derogatory, now chiefly literary) fat (of a person)
Usage notesEdit
  • Feist typically adds a negative moral judgment to the description, implying gluttony, laziness, and/or unrightful wealth. For example, ein feister Kapitalist (a fat capitalist).

Etymology 2Edit

See the etymology of the main entry.



  1. second-person singular present of feien

Further readingEdit