respelled early 19c. from bisket (16c.), ultimately (besquite, early 14c.) from Old French bescuit "biscuit" (12c.), altered under influence of cognate Old Italian biscotto, both from Medieval Latin biscoctum, literally "twice-baked," from Latin (panis) bis coctus "(bread) twice-baked;" see bis- + cook (v.). Originally a kind of hard, dry bread baked in thin cakes; U.S. sense of "small, round soft bun" is recorded from 1818.