From Hull AWE
Jump to: navigation, search

This word - meaning '˜to disconcert', '˜to unsettle' or 'to upset' - was seen in the mid-20th century as a pure Americanism, and therefore slang which should not be used in academic English. In fact it has a long and honourable history. It is recorded, in the form '˜to feeze', as long ago as 830, when it meant 'to drive away' (OED, 1895). By about 1440 it meant more '˜to frighten' or '˜to alarm'.

But you would still be best advised not to use it in academic English, except for very deliberate purposes - when you mean to create a particular effect.

This word can also be confused with phase; see fazed - phased for a comparison.