Faunch and rear

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16 comments on this post.
  1. Dick Stacy:

    I live in Colorado, where the expression: “faunching at the bit” is quite common.

  2. Doc:

    It seems to me that “champ at the bit” is giving way to an “eggcorn.” Most everyone I know says “chomp at the bit,” to the extent that it is becoming or has become legitimate.

  3. Esty:

    Here in Kansas some of us also say “faunching at the bit” without having any knowledge of why. So glad to have the answer to that puzzling question.

  4. Elsa:

    My mom always used “faunch” as a sort of synonym for “search.” She’d say things like “if you faunch around in my purse long enough you might find some Lifesavers.” Or, “You’ve been faunching around in your closet forever — just find something to wear and let’s go!” We still use it that way but apparently no one else does. But it reminds me of her so its somewhat unconventional usage lives on in our family!

  5. Nina:

    Ok. Let me clear this up for you. Champing at the bit has nothing to do with sounds nor is it chomping. it has to do with the impatience a horse displays when the reins are held snugged back to keep the horse from taking off. The horse will shake and snake its head back and forth as well as up and down. It is obviously eager to move out. Only the rider is holding it back. Champing at the bit. Faunching is a different activity, it is pulling back on a lead rope and again snaking its head back and forth as well as up and down. The horse will also give little hops as it rears back very slightly. The horse doesn’t want to cooperate. It will, it just wants to be difficult about it. To let you know it isn’t happy about it. For more accurate emotional tell on a horse–watch the ears. Flat to the head and if you don’t know what you’re doing–get the H….out of there.

  6. Laurel:

    This website entry has my vote for possible derivation: from the Irish “fonn taodach” – to quote Daniel Cassidy’s book, “How the Irish Invented Slang” (p.139) “an impulsive frame of mind, jittery excitation, a fierce humor”, taodach meaning “excited, fidgety, quick-tempered.”

  7. Amy:

    Years down the road, but I still couldn’t help posting. Check out the entry for “sarcastises” for your “reliable method of conveying sarcasm in print”.


  8. Ann:

    This word popped into my mind today. No one at work knew what it meant. Of course they are all young ‘uns. My parents used to say “stompin’ and faunchin'”. We knew it meant upset and fussy. They were from the Panhandle of Texas. So I just had to find out if we were the only people that used the term. YaHoo!! I am vindicated!

  9. Jan Hart:

    My mother, who was born in East Texas in 1918 and who lived all her adult life in West Texas, used to say “faunchin’ and rearin'” in relation to people who were visibly upset or angry.

  10. Garry:

    My dad used to tell me Iwas rearing and faunching when I was upsetting everone, including him. I never understood what it meant. This was back about 1950 or so, have’nt heard it since. Glad I’m not the only one.

  11. Kate Turny:

    “Faunching and fuming” was the term my mother used when her children threw hissy fits, indulged in fits of pique, rebelled with stamping feet, flailing arms and whiny crying. She was born in Fontana, KS in 1910 of Scots-Irish parents. Her mother, born in Nebraska in 1883, had used the same term to describe my mother’s own baby behavior before 1917.

  12. Rhonda:

    Iowa – faunching at the bit – heard it all my life!

  13. Julie:

    My Grandma used the term “faunch” to describe a baby arching its back in distress or discomfort. The first time I held my newborn niece, Grandma said “Watch it! She’s a gonna faunch!” I had no idea what she meant until the baby did it and I’ve never forgotten to be on the lookout for a faunching infant. Grandma was from the Ozarks. I don’t know what she new about horses, but she sure as shootin’ knew a lot about babies.

  14. Ambrose L. Kahnke:

    Thank You! I have no socially recognized expertise, sadly, but your contribution “rings a bell” and I will officially accept it as the MOST valuable and accurate source!

  15. Ambrose L. Kahnke:

    Note also, Kate Turny’s post where ancestors come from Scots-Irish background…

  16. Elaine:

    My Ozarks-raised mother just used this word to me today on the phone. In context, it seemed to mean “rattled,” but I’ve been on Google ever since looking for a possible etymology.

    I suspect a French influence–if not origin. There’s also a Cajun influence in my mother’s part of Missouri.

    From the Collins Dictionary online:

    English translation of?fâché
    1. (= en colère) angry

    Or I’m mistaken, though I faunch at the thought.

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