respelled early 19c. from bisket (16c.), ultimately (besquite, early 14c.) from Old French bescuit (12c.), literally "twice cooked;" altered under influence of cognate Old Italian biscotto, both from Medieval Latin biscoctum, from Latin (panis) bis coctus "(bread) twice-baked;" see bis- + cook (v.). U.S. sense of "soft bun" is recorded from 1818.