I found another utterly stupid piece of Cassidy nonsense recently. It was posted on Linguistlist on Friday, Jan 28 2005, and then the same thing was given more or less verbatim on the Daltaí Boards about a month later. Although these claims never made it into the book, they are a perfect example of Cassidy’s ‘research’. They clearly demonstrate his ignorance, his overconfidence and his lack of intelligence.

More notes on the Irish and Gaelic word Teas (pron. jass or chass) meaning Heat. . 

The Sanas of Fizz, Fizzle, and Sizzle.

When something fizzes or fizzles it loses its Teas (pron. jass or chass) or Heat, Highest  Temperature, Excitement, and High Spirit.  The Oxford Dictionary ’s Fizz is  imitative and its fizzle is literally a silent fart.

Fizz, fiz, make a hissing sound, as of effervescence; 17th century; imitative, compare fizzle. Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology, p. 359.

Fizzle, break wind silently 16th C.; (orig. from US) come to a lame conclusion, 18th C.; from fizz (but this is recorded later) + LE, cf. fist. (ODEE, p.359) 

The Barnhart Etymological Dictionary also opts for the fizz of the silent fart, but  with a little Middle English imitation.

Fizz v. 1655, move with a hiss or a sputter; imitative of the sound, and perhaps related to fizzle.  –n.  1812, a hissing or sputtering sound, from the verb.  Barnhart, p. 386.


Barnhart’s fizzle is an old fart and an ancient fist.

Fizzle v. About 1532, to break wind without noise, probably an alteration of obsolete fist  (Middle Eng., break wind, 1440) + le, frequentative suffix.


The meaning of make a hissing sound or sputtering is first recorded in 1859…in American  English….  Barnhart, p. 386. 

The Irish and Gaelic  Sanas of Fizz, Fizzle and Sizzle 

 Like a verbal star, fizz and fizzle  are perpetually losing their Teas (pron. chass or jass), or  heat,  excitement, ardor, and high spirit.




Fé theas, fa theas ( pron. fay has; the aspirated T is  silent)

Less than highest heat, warmth, passion, ardor, and excitement.

Fé, Fá, faoi : less than, under (in all senses), low.

Teas (aspirated to Theas, pron. has). heat, hotness, warmth, degree of hotness, high  temperature, passion, excitement, ardor, fever. Hottest, highest stage.

The Gaelic Phrase Fizzle Fizzes Forever..


Fé theas uile (fay has ila)

Less than all heat, vigor, passion, ardor, or excitement.


Fé, Fá, faoi : less than, under (in all senses), low

Teas, aspirated to Theas, still means heat, hotness, warmth, degree of hotness, high temperature, passion, excitement,  ardor, high spirits. Hottest, highest stage.

Uile: all, wholly.  

Fizzles’s hot jazzy cousin is Sizzle.

With sizzle the Barnhart again opts for “imitative.”  But of course it is a pure  English imitation. 

 Sizzle…to make a hissing sound as fat does when  frying. 1603, to burn or scorch so as to produce a hissing sound; perhaps a  frequentative verb form of Middle English sissen make a hissing sound, buzz  (before 1300), of imitative origin. The sense of making a hissing sound when  frying is first recorded. in English before 1825.  –n. 1823, in Edward  Moor’s Suffolk Words and Phrases; from the verb.      Barnhart p. 1913  

The Irish and Gaelic Sizzle holds at its core the perpetual heat, passion, excitement, and ardor of Teas (jazz or chass.)  


Sa theas uile (pron. sa has ila ; T is aspirated)

In a state of all heat, highest temperature, excitement, passion, ardour. 

Sa: In ( a state or condition of) 

Theas (pron. has): heat, vigor, passion, ardor, or excitement.   . 

Uile: all, whole.

The Sizzle of Teas (pron. chass, jass) holds the spirit of jazz (teas, heat) and gives off heat  even when it fizzles.  On the other hand when you easy fry chicken in New  Orleans you don’t sizzle it, you fricasee (friocadh samh) the boid  (bird.) 

Friocadh (pron fricah): frying

Sa/mh (pron saah), easy.

Friocadh sa/mh   (pron. Fricah saah)

Easy frying. . 


Where do I start? Firstly, the whole thing about heat and fizzing is a nonsense. Is fizzing or fizzling about losing heat? When you drop an Alka Seltzer into water, is this anything to do with a loss of heat? No. However, Cassidy desperately wants to link it to teas, because teas is one of the handful of Irish words he knows. So according to Cassidy, fizz is “Fizz: Fé  theas, fa theas ( pron. fay has; the aspirated T is silent) [sic] Less than highest heat, warmth, passion, ardor, and excitement.”

Anyone who speaks Irish will instantly realise that this is nonsense. Faoi ( in Munster) is used in lots of different ways: about; subject to; under. For example, in the phrase faoi bhrón, faoi means ‘subject to.’ A person who is faoi bhrón is sad, not ‘less than perfectly sad’.  His attempt to account for the –le at the end of fizzle is even sillier. The word uile is only used with definite phrases in Irish (nouns with my, your, proper nouns etc.) So an lá uile (or uilig as we say in the north) is fine – it means ‘the whole day’. But you cannot say chaith sé lá uile ag obair for ‘he spent a whole day working’. You would have to say something like Chaith sé lá iomlán ag obair. The phrase fé theas uile is just meaningless rubbish.

However, it’s not as bad as his cack-handed attempts to explain sizzle. Of course, sizzle is associated with heat. However, sa theas is simply wrong. You don’t aspirate t or d after sa. It’s sa teach (in the house), sa tír (in the land), and sa teas (in the heat). Furthermore, sizzle is plainly linked to the word sissen, meaning make a sizzling noise, found in English before 1300. Cassidy’s claim that it derives from a ridiculous ungrammatical ‘Irish’ phrase meaning ‘in all heat’ is just crazy. As crazy as Cassidy himself.

But if you’re looking for sheer and total jabbering lunacy, just try the bit at the end. Fricassee is a French word, of course. It is thought to come from frire (fry) and casser (to break up). It occurs in a French cookery book in 1490! Furthermore, the Irish for frying is not friocadh. It’s friochadh (pronounced frihoo). And sámh just doesn’t work here. It means relaxed, tranquil.

Cassidy’s apologists will no doubt say that I’m being unfair. After all, these particular bits of garbage didn’t make it into the book. However, plenty of equally stupid bits of garbage did. The vast majority of the so-called Irish phrases in Cassidy’s book are the same, the result of an idiot with a dictionary throwing words together without regard for the grammar and usage that he couldn’t be bothered learning. The whole thing is incredibly disrespectful. You could sum up Cassidy’s attitude with the words. Yeah, I’m sure it doesn’t make sense but who gives a shit? Nobody speaks that fucking peasant language nowadays anyway! 

The fact is, of course, that hundreds of thousands of people speak it. I’m one of them and I’m not about to forgive this shabby narcissistic little con-man, however many American idiots are as convinced as Cassidy himself that the sun shone out of his arse.









4 thoughts on “Fizzling

  1. Jeremy Butterfield

    You’ve done well to even try to disentangle DC’s incoherent prose and derivations. I feel giddy just reading through them. But do take care of that blood pressure, ;-). J.

    PS: His “stuff” seems to be about as well informed as a recent tweeter who claimed that Spanish derived from Arabic (on the basis that it contains, understandably, many words of Arabic origin). I hope you’re not getting storm Henry over there: it’s raining massive stair rods here.

  2. DebunkerOfCassidy Post author

    Yes, while writing that piece I had a definite whistling in my ears, which I think was steam being released in true cartoon fashion! It isn’t wet here (we say ‘ag caitheamh sceana gréasaí’, ‘throwing cobbler’s knives’ rather than stair rods!) but by God is it windy! 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.