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Word of the Day
Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Definitions for fizgig

  1. a type of firework that makes a loud hissing sound.
  2. a whirling toy that makes a whizzing noise.
  3. fishgig.

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Citations for fizgig
Neither powder nor pepper (you know) was adulterated in those days, and if you made a fizgig, why it blossomed and starred like a golden thistle, flashed into a myriad sparklets like a tiny fountain for Queen Mab and her troupe to dance round. Frank Fowler, Last Gleanings, 1864
What sputters green and blue, this fizgig called Fifine! Robert Browning, Fifine at the Fair, 1872
Origin of fizgig
Fizgig has a very cloudy history. The first syllable, fiz (also fis), may derive from the Middle English noun fise or feist “a fart” (cf. fizzle), from the Proto-Indo-European root pezd- “fart,” source of Latin pēdere, Greek bdeîn, and Polish bździeć, all meaning “to fart,” which well fits the sound made by the firework. Gig may be imitative in origin, but the word or words are very problematic, and it is less difficult to state what gig does not mean than what it does mean: “a flighty, giddy girl (cf. giglet, giggle); a top (i.e., the toy); “odd-looking character, a fool; a joke, merriment.” Fizgig entered English in the 16th century.
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