Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers
"cat," 1520s, but probably much older than the record, perhaps imitative of the hissing sound commonly used to get a cat's attention. A conventional name for a cat in Germanic languages and as far off as Afghanistan; it is the root of the principal word for "cat" in Rumanian (pisica) and secondary words in Lithuanian (puz), Low German (puus), Swedish dialect katte-pus, etc. Applied to a girl or woman from c.1600, originally in a negative sense, implying unpleasant cat-like qualities; but by mid-19c. in affectionate use.
"the face" (but sometimes, especially in pugilism slang, "the mouth"), 1890, slang, from Irish pus "lip, mouth."
The face: one sock in the pussRelated Terms
[1890+; fr Irish pus, ''lip, mouth'']