Posted by Lewis on July 18, 2003
In Reply to: Fice posted by James Briggs on July 18, 2003
: In today's 'Times', the daily Word Quiz had 'fice', with 3 offered possible meanings;
: a) a fifth
: b) to sneer
: c) a dog
: The answer was (c). The given origin is below - it has a rather intriguing ending!
: FICE An obsolete English word still used in Kentucky and the South for a small dog or cur, sometimes spelt 'phyce'. It is evidently the last small remnant of the old English "foisting cur". The foisting dog was a kind of lap-dog, so called from its bad habits, which often have to serve as an excuse for the wind of the owner. Hence "feisty".
Also explains "foisted upon" meaning an unwelcome presence or burden.