Word Origin & History
1896, Amer.Eng. from feist "small dog," from fice, fist (Amer.Eng., 1805) "small dog;" short for fysting curre "stinking cur," attested from 1520s, from M.E. fysten, fisten "break wind" (mid-15c.); related to O.E. fisting "stink." The 1811 slang dictionary defines fice as "a small windy escape backwards,
more obvious to the nose than ears; frequently by old ladies charged on their lap-dogs." Cf. also Dan. fise "to blow, to fart," and obsolete English askefise, lit. "fire-blower, ash-blower," from an unrecorded O.N. source, used in M.E. for a kind of bellows, but originally "a term of reproach among northern nations for an unwarlike fellow who stayed at home in the chimney corner" [OED].