from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun See extract, and fise.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Southern U.S. A small dog; -- written also fise, fyce, fiste, etc.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A small, snappy, belligerent, mixed-breed dog.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a nervous belligerent little mongrel dog


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • is anyone else imagining a half-crazed Englishman hissing about his 'nervous belligerent little mongrel dog'? what a turn of phrase!

    September 17, 2009

  • (noun) - An obsolete English word still used in Kentucky and the South for a small dog or cur, sometimes spelt phyce. The word is perhaps one of the most interesting cases of survival presented by American philology. It is evidently the last small remnant of the old English "foisting cur," quoted as "foisting hound" in Wright's Provincial Dialects 1857. Nares' Glossary of the Works of English Authors 1859 gives nearly the whole process of gradual corruption: "foisting, foisty, foist, fyst, fyce," and Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words 1855 describes the "foisting-hound" as "a kind of lap-dog," so called from its bad habits, which often have to serve as an excuse for the sins of the owner. A "fisting hound" also is mentioned as a kind of spaniel in Harrison's Description of England 1587. --John Farmer's Americanisms Old and New, 1889

    April 22, 2018