c. 1200, curre, a term, usually depreciatory, for a dog, earlier kurdogge; used of vicious dogs and cowardly dogs, mastiffs and terriers, probably from Old Norse kurra or Middle Low German korren both meaning "to growl" and echoic of a growling dog. Compare Swedish dialectal kurre, Middle Dutch corre "house dog." Meaning "surly, low-bred man" is from 1580s.
adjectival word-forming element, Old English -isc "of the nativity or country of," in later use "of the nature or character of," from Proto-Germanic suffix *-iska- (cognates: Old Saxon -isk, Old Frisian -sk, Old Norse -iskr, Swedish and Danish -sk, Dutch -sch, Old High German -isc, German -isch, Gothic -isks), cognate with Greek diminutive suffix -iskos. In its oldest forms with altered stem vowel (French, Welsh). The Germanic suffix was borrowed into Italian and Spanish (-esco) and French (-esque). Colloquially attached to hours to denote approximation, 1916.