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  • indecl. adj.

    good-looking, well-built (of a person)

    < G. feist, "fat, stout, plump"

    The idea apparently, among the Slovene peasants who first used this word, that a person who had a little meat on him (or her) was more desirable than others.

    June 29, 2008

  • Fascinating. But is the "G." in your etymologies for German or Germanic, or something else?

    If the former, I'm surprised there's so much German influence in Slovene slang.

    June 30, 2008

  • The G. is for German. The German influence in colloquial Slovene comes from the fact the Slovene lands were ruled by Germans for more than 1000 years, first Bavarians, then the Austrian Habsburgs (since the 14th century). So a lot of ordinary things are called by names that come ultimately from German (especially the southern, Alpine variant spoken in Austrian Carinthia). For example, the "official" Slovene word for "he runs" is te�?e, but in everyday speech people will usually say lavfa (the -av- is pronounced like the German "au"), from German "laufen". When a Slovene orders a beer from a waiter, he will ask for a pir from the kelner, though in proper Slovene he would want a pivo from the natakar (both authentic Slavic words). And there are a number of German words that have even become part of official Slovene. The word for "color" is barva, which comes from the German Farbe (via the Austrian dialect).

    June 30, 2008