8 Wintry Words to Defrost Your Vocabulary
1610s, fatisso, from Portuguese feitiço "charm, sorcery," from Latin facticius "made by art," from facere "to make" (see factitious).
Latin facticius in Spanish has become hechizo "magic, witchcraft, sorcery." Probably introduced by Portuguese sailors and traders as a name for charms and talismans worshipped by the inhabitants of the Guinea coast of Africa. Popularized in anthropology by C. de Brosses' "Le Culte des Dieux Fétiches" (1760), which influenced the word's spelling in English (French fétiche, also from the Portuguese word). Figurative sense of "something irrationally revered" is American English, 1837.
Any material image of a religious idea is an idol; a material object in which force is supposed to be concentrated is a Fetish; a material object, or a class of material objects, plants, or animals, which is regarded by man with superstitious respect, and between whom and man there is supposed to exist an invisible but effective force, is a Totem. [J. Fitzgerald Lee, "The Greater Exodus," London, 1903]For sexual sense, see fetishism.
fetish fet·ish (fět'ĭsh, fē'tĭsh)
Something, such as an object or a nonsexual part of the body, that arouses sexual desire and may become necessary for sexual gratification.
An abnormally obsessive preoccupation or attachment.