Word Origin & History
O.E. fox, from W.Gmc. *fukhs (cf. O.H.G. fuhs, O.N. foa, Goth. fauho), from P.Gmc. base *fuh-, corresponding to PIE *puk- "tail" (cf. Skt. puccha- "tail"). The bushy tail is also the source of words for "fox" in Welsh (llwynog, from llwyn "bush"); Sp. (raposa, from rabo "tail"); Lith. (uodegis "fox,"
from uodega "tail"). Metaphoric extension to "clever person" is early 13c. The verb is from 1560s. Meaning "sexually attractive woman" is from 1940s; but foxy in this sense is recorded from 1895. Foxed in booksellers' catalogues means "stained with fox-colored marks."
Algonquian people, transl. Fr. renards, which itself may be a transl. of an Iroquoian term meaning "red fox people." Their name for themselves is /mekwahki:-haki/ "red earths."