My English (vai Liverpool)-Canadian mother used this word to mean 'disgusted by' or 'repulsed by.' Example: "he is afeast of mixed foods." meaning you think mixed foods are disgusting or inedible.

I have been unable to locate any use or reference to this word, even in the unabridged dictionary, although I have seen 'afeard,' and similar variations, as archaic versions of afraid.

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    English, Renaissance, Tyndale - 1526: But when thou makest afeast call the poore the maymed the lame and the blynde (afeast=a feast?) -- English, Basic, Ogden - 1964: But when you give a feast, send for the poor and the blind and those who are broken in body (websters-online-dictionary.org/definition/AFEAST) – Kris Jun 8 '13 at 5:20
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    Those are noun usages. ("Christmas is not only afeast ofchildren, but in some sense afeast offools," Belmonte, 2012) I don't think the adjective form [afeast (of)] was ever tried in literature. – Kris Jun 8 '13 at 5:31
  • @StoneyB You're right, I checked the original. – Kris Jun 9 '13 at 4:26
  • There could also be other words with variation in spelling and/or other senses of the word. Acronym: Association of Feminist Ethics and Social Theory. – Kris Jun 9 '13 at 4:27
  • Thank you both for your very thoughtful responses. In particular, I, somehow, missed Websters multilingual thesaurus. Thank you both again. – Benjamin Wade Jun 12 '13 at 2:25

I have been unable to find the word itself, or a verb from which it might derive as a participle.

I can only suggest that it is an idiolectal or (very local) dialectal construction, on the analogy of afeard of, afeart of, building from a common exclamation of disgust which takes a wide variety of forms:

OLDER ENGLISH: foh, fah, faugh, fough, fie, fy, &c (OED 1: "An exclamation of abhorrence or disgust")

CONTEMPORARY ENGLISH: yechh [jɛx, jɛk], yik, yuk (Oxford Dictionaries: "informal expressing aversion or disgust". Also yechy, yukky, yikky, adjectives)

SCOTS: feech [fiç], feigh, feuch [fɪç, fjux] (Scots Online Dictionary: "An exclamation of disgust at a foul smell, pain, impatience or disappointment." Also feechie, adjective "Foul, dirty, disgusting, rainy, puddly")

The Scots version in particular might give rise to [fist], substituting an [s] for the un-English [ç]. Is there any Scots in your mother's background?

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  • My mother was of Welsh descent. I would love to find out more about this (possible) word, even if it is just a regional dialectic form. I would also like to thank you, and everyone else, for their very erudite and thoughtful responses. – Benjamin Wade Jun 12 '13 at 2:21

My mother is from a small town upstate New York (Dutch/English and French origin population) that dated back the the mid 17th century and they used the word afeast to describe something distasteful. My father from NYC had never heard of it but guessed on the afeared connection.

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  • Jenny,Thank you so much! That is exactly then sense in which my mother used the word. My ex-wife insisted I was nuts and that there was (and never had been) any such word. My mother was of English extraction, but born in Canada near Niagara Falls. You've given me a great lead! – Benjamin Wade Aug 23 '14 at 3:40

my grandparents used the word afeast in this way frequently. My grandmother was English and Pennsylvania Dutch. My grandfather, German, Irish and Polish. Not sure where it comes from but I grew up with it and use it often in this context. They were both from Morris County New Jersey.

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