-SS -> -ST?

Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Fri Dec 1 16:37:41 UTC 2006

To clarify:  I wasn't talking about the adjective "fiesty" but about a noun referring to a small, hyper dog.  In my experience among white Southerneres, a fiesty dog is normally called a FICE, not a FEIST.  But then, I haven't discussed small, hyper dogs with ALL white Southerners.

As for the fart business, I was referring to etymology, not current usage or perception.  Probably the expression "full of beans" for most speakers nowadays carries just half an iota of the flatulent semantics of its precursor.


---- Original message ----
>Date: Fri, 1 Dec 2006 08:52:21 -0500
>From: "Dennis R. Preston" <preston at MSU.EDU>
>Subject: Re: -SS -> -ST?

>Fiesty (the normal spelling by the way pretty much all over the South) dogs (and people for that matter) may have their label derived from flatulence, but the current sense anywhere I know it carries not one iota of the semantics of this precursor.
>(There is an older Appalachian/South Midland sense of "flirtatious" that may survice; see DARE.)


>>"Feist" in what sense, Wilson? 'Little dog'? The OED has an entry, but for the 'little dog' sense, only a citation of Bartlett's _Dictionary of Americanisms_, the 1860 edition (there spelled "fiste"). The more normal lexified spelling (a la Faulkner) would be /t/-less "fice" (OED).  The dog so-called, presemably, because it farts a lot; cf. "fizzle," "fiesty" ("full of beans"), archaic "fist," etc.
>>>My mother says "once-t" and "twice-t," among other words of this type. OTOH, she says "fis'' for "fist" and "feis" for "feist." In fact, this sort of thing is not at all unusual in BE.

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