A jovial companion; a thief; a roysterer. A pun on the verb to
pheese—A—pheeze-ian. Pheeze is to flatter.
“It is thine host, thine Ephesian, calls.”
Shakespeare: Merry Wives of Windsor, iv. 5.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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