1830, American English, said to be a variant of Kentish dialect feeze "to frighten, alarm, discomfit" (mid-15c.), from Old English fesian, fysian "drive away, send forth, put to flight," from Proto-Germanic *fausjan (source also of Swedish fösa "drive away," Norwegian föysa). Related: Fazed; fazing. Bartlett (1848) has it as to be in a feeze "in a state of excitement." There also is a nautical verb feaze "to unravel" (a rope), from 1560s.