Date: Fri, 20 Sep 1996 10:13:17 -0700


Subject: Re: etymology of FEIST

Actually, Goethe only uses the word "feist" once in "Faust" and that

in the sense of fat. Adressing the "fat devils (Dickteufeln) with short,

straight horns" is line 11657: Ihr glueht so recht vom Hoellenschwefel

feist; (you glow so fat from Hell-sulphur).

Kluge's Etymologisches Woerterbuch (22. Aufl) lists "feist" adj. MHG

viez(e)t, OHG feiz(i)t cf. Anglo Saxon "faett" feist is the past

participle of veizen = ONorse feita "to make fat, fatten"

Grimm gives "feist" as ventus tacitus, Gk bdesma and the verb feisten as

"visire, peditum sine crepitum etmittere, Gk. bdein. and gives several

humorous examples of its use (one of the latest to use feisten = to

fart silently is Luther.)

fart is derived from Gk. perdesthai, Skt. pardate OHG is ferzan, doesn't

seem conected to veizen.



On Thu, 19 Sep 1996, Ron Butters wrote:

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.