fizgig

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English gig (a frivolous woman); the first element of the word may be from fise (an instance of flatulence), from fist (an act of breaking wind).

Noun[edit]

fizgig (plural fizgigs)

  1. (archaic) A flirtatious, coquettish girl, inclined to gad or gallivant about; a gig, a giglot. [From 1520s.]
    • 1596, Stephen Gosson, Pleasant Quippes for Vpstart Nevvfangled Gentlevvomen, London: Imprinted at London by Richard Iohnes, OCLC 607141005; reprinted as [John Payne Collier, editor], Pleasant Quippes for Upstart Newfangled Women. By Stephen Gosson. A Treatise on the Pride and Abuse of Women. By Charles Bansley. The First from a Copy with the Author’s Autograph; the Last from a Unique Impression by Thomas Reynalde, London: Reprinted by T. Richards, for the executors of the late C. Richards, 100, St. Martin's Lane, 1841, OCLC 952704074, page 13:
      You thinke (perhaps) to win great fame / by uncouth sutes and fashions wilde: / All such as know you thinke the same, / but in ech kind you are beguilde; / For when you looke for praises sound; / Then are you for light fisgiggs crownde.
    • 1864, Geraldine E[ndsor] Jewsbury, chapter XXX, in The Sorrows of Gentility, 2nd edition, London: Chapman and Hall, 193, Piccadilly, OCLC 2986518, page 180:
      I don't see why Gertrude is not young enough and strong enough to take care of her child herself, without having a fine madman of a nurse to help her. If she cannot it is time she is learned;—anyway, I will keep no such fizgigs about here.
  2. (archaic) Something frivolous or trivial; a gewgaw, a trinket.
    • 1871, Harriet Beecher Stowe, “John’s Birthday”, in Pink and White Tyranny. A Society Novel, Boston, Mass.: Roberts Brothers, OCLC 51434892, page 147:
      "[…] Lillie did the best she could, poor girl! but I could see all the time she was worrying about her new fizgigs and folderols in the house. []" / "[…] Young mistresses, you see, have nerves all over their house at first. They tremble at every dent in their furniture, and wink when you come near it, as if you were going to hit it a blow; but that wears off in time, and they learn to take it easy."
    • 1874 July 1, “Belles Lettres”, in The Westminster and Foreign Quarterly Review, volume CII, number CCI (New Series, volume XLVI, number I), London: Trübner & Co, 57 & 59, Ludgate Hill, OCLC 613024433, pages 291–292:
      Mr. Leslie Stephen's style is exactly the opposite to Canon [Charles] Kingsley's. We have no fizgigs of fine writing for fine writing's sake, or for the sake of anything else. God is not adjured nor complimented in every other page. Christianity and muscles find their proper places. It is a perfect relief after the flabby, effeminate rhetoric with which we are now deluged, to read Mr. Leslie Stephen's terse and masculine style.
    • 1910 May 28, “Wanted—a Funeral March”, in Musical News, volume XXXVIII, London: [s.n.], OCLC 33075993, page 566:
      Tawdry has been applied to some of the pianoforte "fizgigs" that [Franz] Liszt attached to pieces he adapted from themes by others; that may or may not be a justifiable designation, but we look in vain for any such treatment in the Dead March.
Synonyms[edit]

Verb[edit]

fizgig (third-person singular simple present fizgigs, present participle fizgigging, simple past and past participle fizgigged)

  1. (archaic, intransitive) To roam around in a frivolous manner; to gad about, to gallivant.

Etymology 2[edit]

fizz +‎ gig (a whirling thing).

Noun[edit]

fizgig (plural fizgigs)

  1. (archaic) A small squib-like firework that explodes with a fizzing or hissing noise.
    • 1853 September 10, “A Brilliant Display of Fireworks”, in Charles Dickens, editor, Household Words. A Weekly Journal, volume VIII, number 181, London: Published at the Office, no. 16, Wellington Street North, Strand; printed by Bradbury & Evans, Whitefriars, London, OCLC 321293193, page 45, column 2:
      What the Chevalier [Mortram] is about to do no one is supposed to know but himself. In the impenetrable breast of the artist lies the determination [] whether a Devil-among-the-Tailors shall end his freaks with a grand explosion of flower-pots and fizzgigs; [] or a fiery dragon to dart and wriggle and spit fire over the heads of the spectators.
    • 1864, Frank Fowler, “‘Guy Faux, Guy.’”, in Last Gleanings, London: Sampson Low, Son, and Marston, 14 Ludgate Hill, OCLC 38709671, page 44:
      Very different were our fizgigs at Brambles'. 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 around.
    • 1876, Whyte Thorne [pseudonym; Richard Whiteing], “Brother Peter”, in The Democracy. A Novel [...] In Three Volumes, volume I, London: Chatto & Windus, Piccadilly, OCLC 22773617, pages 71–72:
      And one day fortune played into his hand by sending a customer to the shop for two ounces of gunpowder, when Paul was standing by. / "Do you keep gunpowder, then?" said Paul, with kindling eyes, as the man left the shop. / "Yes," answered his brother innocently, "but we only sell it to grown-up people. Boys wouldn't know what to do with it." / "Wouldn't they, though? Why, you can make fizgigs of it that blaze like Vesuvius, the burning mountain."
    • 2008, Salvatore Scibona, in The End, St. Paul, Minn.: Graywolf Press, ISBN 978-1-55597-498-5; republished London: Vintage Books, 2011, ISBN 978-0-09-955576-6, page 35:
      Half a dozen boys in linen blazers, their hair in uniform flattops, were shooting off fizgigs in his alley and paid him no mind as he pretended to use his key to unlock the alley-oop door.
Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Possibly from Spanish fisga (harpoon).

Noun[edit]

fizgig (plural fizgigs)

  1. (fishing) A spear with a barb on the end of it, used for catching fish; a type of harpoon.
    • 1638, Tho[mas] Herbert [Sir Thomas Herbert, 1st Baronet], Some Yeares Travels into Divers Parts of Asia and Afrique. [...], rev. and enl. (2nd) edition, London: Printed by R[ichard] Bi[sho]p for Iacob Blome and Richard Bishop, OCLC 278540753, book I, page 24:
      At day break we were cloſe by the Peninſule Mozambique (part of Quiloa) inhabited by Negroes; abundant in Gold, Silver, and Ambergreece; [] [A]n Armado of Dolphins aſſaulted us; and ſuch we ſaulted as we could intice to taſte our hooks or fiſſgiggs: []
    • [1785, A[bel] Boyer; Lewis [i.e., Louis] Chambaud; J[ean-]B[aptiste] Robinet, “FIZGIG”, in A. Boyer’s New Dictionary English and French: and French and English. Containing the Signification of Words, with Their Different Uses; the Terms of Arts, Sciences and Trades; the Constructions, Forms of Speech, Idioms, and Proverbs Used in Both Languages: the Whole Extracted from the Best Writers; Corrected, Improved and Enlarged, volume II (Containing the English before the French), Paris: C[harles-Joseph] Panckoucke; Amsterdam: D. J. Changuion and B. Vlam; Utrecht: B. Wild, OCLC 931101419, page 206, column 3:
      FIZGIG, ſ[ubſtantive] [a ſort of dart or harpoon with which ſeamen ſtrike fiſh.] Sorte de harpon.]
    • 1811, [G. Paterson], chapter XXXI, in The History of New South Wales, from Its First Discovery to the Present Time; Comprising an Accurate and Interesting Description of that Vast and Remarkable Country; [...], Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Printed and published by Mackenzie and Dent, St. Nicholas' Church-yard, OCLC 35036328, page 357:
      [T]he inhabitants of this bay appeared to possess, in general, a very pointed difference from, if not a superiority over, those of New South Wales, particularly in their net-works. There was no doubt but they were provided with nets for catching very large fish, or animals; [] Mr. [Matthew] Flinders was of opinion, that this mode of procuring their food would cause a characteristic difference between the manners, and perhaps the dispositions of these people, and of those who mostly depend upon the spear or fizgig for a supply.
    • 1908, John Masefield, Captain Margaret: A Romance, London: G. Richards, OCLC 457389991, page 104:
      [T]wo of these red Indians in a boat, and they just paddle soft, paddle soft, as still as still, and they come up to the turtles as they lie asleep in the sea, and then. Whang. They dart their fizgigs. They never miss.
Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology 4[edit]

Origin unknown.

EB1911 - Volume 01 - Page 001 - 1.svg This entry lacks etymological information. If you are familiar with the origin of this term, please add it to the page per etymology instructions. You can also discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.

Noun[edit]

fizgig (plural fizgigs)

  1. (Australia, slang, dated) A police informer.
    • 1922, Parliament of Australia, Parliamentary Debates, volume 101, [s.l.]: Printed and published for the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia by J. Kemp, OCLC 5439396, page 3262:
      In order to make the clause perfect the Minister might add— / All "spotters," spies, fizgigs, and informers will be properly rewarded, and duly promoted, and guaranteed against publicity.
    • 2007 January, Pip Wilson, Faces in the Street: Louisa and Henry Lawson and the Castlereagh Street Push, 3rd edition, Coffs Harbour, N.S.W.: Pip Wilson, ISBN 978-0-9803487-0-5, page 191:
      "Fizgigs?" Wood asks. / "Pimps. A fizgig is an agent provocateur – he gets you to do something you shouldn't do and that will hang you in court. A pimp gets you to do something innocuous that will still hang you. [] "
    • 2012, G. S. Manson, chapter 10, in Coorparoo Blues & the Irish Fandango, Portland, Or.: Verse Chorus Press, ISBN 978-1-891241-32-1, page 71:
      A normal feller going about his business will give ya the once over without a squirm, but not this joker. Either he was a fizgig, or he was there to tip off someone about Jack's movements – Soupy, presumably.
Synonyms[edit]

Verb[edit]

fizgig (third-person singular simple present fizgigs, present participle fizgigging, simple past and past participle fizgigged)

  1. (Australia, slang, dated) To act as a police informer.
    • 1907, “Crime and the Criminal. The Defective Detective Forces of Australia.”, in The Lone Hand, volume I, Sydney, N.S.W.: William McLeod, OCLC 974043041, page 523:
      The employment of "fiz-gigs" – men engaged by detectives to tempt discharged prisoners to commit specified [] The report of Mr. Francis Longmore and his colleagues may indeed have tended to diminish "fiz-gigging" []
    • 1985, Peter Corris, chapter 5, in Make Me Rich, Sydney, N.S.W.; London: Unwin Paperbacks, ISBN 978-0-04-820021-1:
      Easy, Frank. I don't want any terror. Just a line on Catchpole—who he's fizzgigging for at the moment. What might be going on.
Alternative forms[edit]
Synonyms[edit]

Etymology 5[edit]

Flowers of the common ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris) in Reilingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. A 19th-century work records that this plant was known as “fizz-gigs” in the Merse (that is, Berwickshire) in Scotland, UK.

Origin unknown.

EB1911 - Volume 01 - Page 001 - 1.svg This entry lacks etymological information. If you are familiar with the origin of this term, please add it to the page per etymology instructions. You can also discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.

Noun[edit]

fizgig (plural fizgigs)

  1. (Scotland, rare) The common ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris).
Alternative forms[edit]