Footloose and fancy free meaning

The meaning and origin of the expression: Fancy free

footloose and fancy free meaning

If you describe someone as footloose and fancy-free, you mean that they are not married or in a similar relationship, and you therefore consider them to have.

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The phrase footloose and fancy-free means not committed or tied to anyone or anything , and in particular not emotionally involved with , or committed to , anyone. The adjective footloose means free to go or do as one wishes. The formation of this word as well as its use in figurative contexts and in to turn a person footloose imply that its original sense was free from physical restraint to the feet , but this sense occurs only occasionally in recent sources as an extended use. The adjective fancy-free means having no commitments , carefree , and in particular not emotionally involved with , or committed to , anyone. Both those adjectives are first recorded in the 17 th century, but their use in collocation is attested in the 19 th century only. The people of Tennessee hate, loathe and spurn all professional slanderers as they hate, loathe and spurn all political corruptionists, shoulderstikers, mobbists, incendiaries, confiscators, and the like. Our aim is to try and re establish [sic] civil government in our midst, and we want the aid of no extremists, North or South.

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Q From Pieter Bosman : We have a virtual Babel of official languages in South Africa, eleven of them, with English the de facto language of communication. I am often asked to explain the meaning and origin of seemingly obvious expressions and find myself stumped, as I tend to be satisfied with knowing the meaning without thinking of their etymology. Thus it was recently with footloose and fancy free. Searching the internet provided some answers, but they seem too glib to be true. We may safely disregard both of these. The idiom means that a person is without responsibilities of any kind and can go wherever he wants.

These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent. The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning. Definition and synonyms of footloose and fancy-free from the online English dictionary from Macmillan Education. This is the British English definition of footloose and fancy-free.

footloose and fancy-free






  1. Abbie G. says:

    I love being a single woman, so I intend to be footloose and fancy-free for a long time.

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