5

Usage: "I would not like to eat that pie as it looks all festy since you dropped it on the ground."

Is the colloquial Australian term 'festy' actually a word?
Also, is it used elsewhere in the world?

  • Think it's a formation from "fester"? – Malvolio Aug 6 '13 at 22:16
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    I'm Australian and don't recognise this word (except as a hypocorism on 'festival'), certainly not in the usage you give. Can you give a reference? – Gaston Ümlaut Aug 6 '13 at 23:02
  • Perhaps you mean "feisty". Australians sometimes use that word in a similar fashion to what you described. (Only some Australians, mind you, but I have heard it a few times.) – daviewales Aug 7 '13 at 14:06
  • (Of course, "feisty" doesn't actually mean that.) – daviewales Aug 7 '13 at 14:07
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The Merriam Webster hasn't heard of it, but the Urban Dictionary lists it with the first two senses as back-constructions of "fester", respectively:
Bad, disgusting, undesirable, revolting.
and
anything that is dirty and/or smelly. It is particularly used to describe people, but may be used to refer to objects or animals.

As English seems to expand much more than it contracts, it seems that in another decade or so if not less, Webster will list it and then Oxford.

1

I'm Australian and I've heard the word festy before, it means dirty or disgusting. Sometimes you can call people festy or things.

From the Collins dictionary:

Festy - dirty, malodorous, very bad

  • Hello, Cathryn. To quote tchrist, "We are looking for more substantial answers with documented references, not merely [statements that may possibly be no more than] personal opinion. Those are just comments, not answers." – Edwin Ashworth Aug 14 '15 at 13:56
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It's an Australian word formed by the addition of "y" to the contraction of fester.

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    To fester means:*become rotten and offensive to the senses* and (of a negative feeling or a problem) become worse or more intense, especially through long-term neglect or indifference If festy is a contraction of that word, it sounds like something to avoid at all costs! Ewww. :) – Mari-Lou A May 25 '14 at 9:23
  • Hello, Alan. To quote tchrist, "We are looking for more substantial answers with documented references, not merely [statements that may possibly be no more than] personal opinion. Those are just comments, not answers." – Edwin Ashworth Aug 14 '15 at 13:58

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