What does Feisty mean?

A person who is feisty, shows personality traits like energetic, ambitious, passionate, aggressive and full of spirit and determination.

They will stop at nothing to reach their goal. They light up the room with their intensity, and at the same time motivates everyone else to do so too.

Everything they do is not only perfection, but also full of passion and emotions.

A “feisty” person fights a little harder, loves a little deeper and runs a little faster than anyone else.

While these are often positive things, they are also known to be troublesome and stubborn if met with challenges.


What's the origin of Feisty?

The term appeared in American English in 1896, and “feist” originally meant “small dog”. By adding the suffix “-y”, you are implying that the “feisty” person is behaving like a small dog, often aggressive, loud and emotional.

Originally, the term meant “aggressive”, “exuberant” or “touchy”, before later obtaining its more positive connotations.

Spread & Usage

How did Feisty spread?

In 1993, American country music singer Wynonna Judd explained why people define her as “feisty” to the Rolling Stones magazine.

The same year, editor for Booklist, Donna Seaman explained that humorist Cynthia Heimel “never plays it safe” followed by “bless her feisty, little heart”.

In 2006, YouTube channel Feisty Films was created, and started releasing entertaining videos featuring toy stuffed animals that go from cute to “feisty” if you push their back.

Interestingly, the term seems to be mainly used to define women, or small animals.

External resources

More interesting stuff