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fart (v.)

Old English feortan, ultimately from PIE *perd- (source also of Old High German ferzan, Old Norse freta, Danish fjerte, Sanskrit pard, Greek perdein, Lithuanian perdžiu, persti, Russian perdet), of imitative origin. Related: Farted; farting. As a noun, from late 14c.

Clatterer or clatterfart, which wyl disclose anye light secreate. [Richard Huloet, "Abecedarium Anglo-Latinum," 1552]
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feisty (adj.)
1896, "aggressive, exuberant, touchy," American English, with -y (2) + feist "small dog," earlier fice, fist (American English, 1805); short for fysting curre "stinking cur," attested from 1520s, with present participle of now-obsolete Middle English fysten, fisten "break wind" (mid-15c.), from Proto-Germanic *fistiz "a fart," said to be from PIE *pezd- (see fart), but there are difficulties.

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." Compare also Danish fise "to blow, to fart," and obsolete English aske-fise, "fire-tender," literally "ash-blower" (early 15c.), from an unrecorded Norse source, used in Middle English 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].
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fartlek (n.)
1952, Swedish, from fart "speed" (cognate with Old Norse fara "to go, move;" see fare (v.)) + lek "play" (cognate with Old Norse leika "play;" see lark (v.)).
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feist (n.)
also fist, "a breaking wind, foul smell, fart," mid-15c. (Old English had present participle fisting, glossing Latin festiculatio), a general West Germanic word with cognates in Middle Dutch veest, Dutch vijst; see feisty.
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petard (n.)

1590s, "engine of war consisting of a small, attachable bomb used to blow in doors and gates and breach walls," from French pétard (late 16c.), from French péter "break wind," from Old French pet "a fart," from Latin peditum, noun use of neuter past participle of pedere "to break wind," from PIE root *pezd- "to fart" (see feisty). Surviving in figurative phrase hoist with one's own petard (or some variant) "caught in one's own trap, involved in the danger one meant for others," literally "blown up with one's own bomb," which is ultimately from Shakespeare (1605):

For tis the sport to haue the enginer Hoist with his owne petar ["Hamlet" III.iv.207].

For the verb, see hoist. The thing itself was rendered obsolete by the development of bombs; it seems to have had a reputation for backfiring. Related: Petardier.

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rap (n.)

early 14c., rappe, "a quick, light blow; a resounding stroke," also "a fart" (late 15c.), native or borrowed from a Scandinavian source (compare Danish rap, Swedish rapp "light blow"); either way probably of imitative origin (compare slap, clap).

Slang meaning "a rebuke, the blame, responsibility" is from 1777; specific meaning "criminal indictment" (as in rap sheet, 1960) is from 1903; to beat the rap is from 1927. Meaning "music with improvised words" was in New York City slang by 1979 (see rap (v.2)).

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farthing (n.)

Old English feorðing (Old Northumbrian feorðung) "quarter of a penny; a fourth part," a diminutive derivative of feorða "fourth" (from feower "four;" from PIE root *kwetwer- "four") + -ing "fractional part." Cognate with Old Frisian fiardeng, Middle Low German verdink, Old Norse fjorðungr, Old Danish fjerdung "a fourth part of anything."

In late Old English also a division of land, probably originally a quarter of a hide. The modern English coin first was minted under Edward I and abolished 1961. The word was used in biblical translations for Latin quadrans "quarter of a denarius."

I shall geat a fart of a dead man as soone As a farthyng of him. [Heywood, "Proverbs," 1562]
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raspberry (n.)

a fruit of various plants of the genus Rubus, 1620s, earlier raspis berry (1540s), a word of obscure origin. Possibly it is from raspise "a sweet rose-colored wine" (mid-15c.), from Anglo-Latin vinum raspeys, which is itself of uncertain origin. Connection to Old French raspe, Medieval Latin raspecia, raspeium, also meaning "raspberry," are likewise obscure.

One suggestion is that it may come via Old Walloon raspoie "thicket," which is of Germanic origin. Klein suggests it is via the French word, from a Germanic source akin to English rasp (v.), with an original sense of "rough berry," based on appearance.

Of the plant itself by 1733. A native plant of Europe and Asiatic Russia, the name was applied to a similar vine in North America. As the name for a color between pink and scarlet, by 1923. Meaning "rude sound" (1890) is shortening of raspberry tart, rhyming slang for fart.

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brain (n.)

"soft, grayish mass filling the cranial cavity of a vertebrate," in the broadest sense, "organ of consciousness and the mind," Old English brægen "brain," from Proto-Germanic *bragnan (source also of Middle Low German bregen, Old Frisian and Dutch brein), of uncertain origin, perhaps from PIE root *mregh-m(n)o- "skull, brain" (source also of Greek brekhmos "front part of the skull, top of the head"). But Liberman writes that brain "has no established cognates outside West Germanic" and is not connected to the Greek word. More probably, he writes, its etymon is PIE *bhragno "something broken."

The custom of using the plural to refer to the substance (literal or figurative), as opposed to the organ, dates from 16c. Figurative sense of "intellectual power" is from late 14c.; meaning "a clever person" is first recorded 1914. To have something on the brain "be extremely eager for or interested in" is from 1862. Brain-fart "sudden loss of memory or train of thought; sudden inability to think logically" is by 1991 (brain-squirt is from 1650s as "feeble or abortive attempt at reasoning"). An Old English word for "head" was brægnloca, which might be translated as "brain locker." In Middle English, brainsick (Old English brægenseoc) meant "mad, addled."

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crack (n.)

"a split, an opening, narrow fracture," mid-15c., earlier "a splitting sound; a fart; the sound of a trumpet" (late 14c.), probably from crack (v.).

Meaning "sharp, resounding blow" is from 1836. Meaning "rock cocaine" is first attested 1985. The superstition that it is bad luck to step on sidewalk cracks has been traced to c. 1890. Meaning "try, attempt" first attested 1830, nautical, probably a hunting metaphor, from slang sense of "fire a gun."

At their head, apart from the rest, was a black bull, who appeared to be their leader; he came roaring along, his tail straight an [sic] end, and at times tossing up the earth with his horns. I never felt such a desire to have a crack at any thing in all my life. He drew nigh the place where I was standing; I raised my beautiful Betsey to my shoulder, took deliberate aim, blazed away, and he roared, and suddenly stopped. ["A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett, Written by Himself," Philadelphia, 1834]

Adjectival meaning "top-notch, superior, excellent, first rate" (as in a crack shot) is slang from 1793, perhaps from earlier verbal sense of "do any thing with quickness or smartness" [Johnson], or from the verb in the sense of "speak boastingly" and suggesting "having qualities to be proud of" [Century Dictionary]. Grose (1796) has "THE CRACK, or ALL THE CRACK. The fashionable theme, the go." To fall or slip through the cracks figuratively, "escape notice," is by 1975. Crack-brained "demented" is attested from 1630s. The biblical crack of doom is in reference to the sound (Old English translates it as swegdynna maest).

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