Posted by Sauerkraut on October 09, 2000
In Reply to: Feisty posted by Bob on October 01, 2000
: : The "Times" carried a question and answer article on Saturday 30th September about various aspests of etiquette. One subject was "what to do in the event of passing wind in public". Part of the answer involved an historical review of the subject, and stated:
: : "Lapdogs became popular pets for ladies in Restoration England as convenient scapegoats for embarrassing smells. 'Feisty', a popular modern epithet of obscure meaning, originally meant 'farting' and was applied to small dogs"
: : Just thought that you all would like to know this!
: Reminds me of that moment in the movie "10" when Dudley moore is talking with the dentist, and the little old lady serving tea passes wind, causing the dog to slink out of the room. The dentist explains that every time that happens, they beat the dog.
Feist was a term applied to small dogs as noted above. For some reason these dogs often have a mean temper - hence the term "ankle biters" - the derivation goes from there to denote someone who is argumentative and agressive. I've also heard feisty used to describe, in an admiring sense, somebody who won't give up on a favorite cause or a person who is energetic beyond their years.