Date: Thu, 19 Sep 1996 14:20:09 -0400
From: Ron Butters RonButters[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM
Subject: etymology of FEIST
The term "feist" and "cur" often are referred to as a dog of uncertain
bloodlines. However certain feist and cur dog varities have been preserved
in Appalachia and Southern Ontario Canada that are bred for
purpose since the 1700's and have been registered since 1980. [...]
Goethe (he hated dogs) in "Faust" refers to the word.
Considering that Goethe wrote in German, what's that got to do with it?
My (admittedly not exhaustive) G-E dictionary lists "feist" only as an
adjective meaning 'fat' or 'obese'. If Goethe did indeed use "Feist" as a
word for a kind of dog, it may have etymological relevance. If the word
occurs in an English translation, then of course it bears not on Goethe's
usage but the translator's.
M y memory is that FEIST and FART are etymologically connected. At ANY RATE,
speaking experientially, the connection makes sense to me.