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Re: Tickle my fancy

Posted by Smokey Stover on April 21, 2008 at 15:27:

In Reply to: Tickle my fancy posted by Thelma Job on April 21, 2008 at 09:57:

: What is the origin of 'tickle my fancy'?

"To tickle," meaning to touch someone in a sensitive place so as to provoke laughter, is a very old verb. It can be used figuratively to mean, "to provoke amusement (in someone)." Fancy is an old word as well, and is a contraction of fantasy, meaning imagination. Fancy later came to include whim or caprice, and from there to individual taste or desire, along with a number of other meanings.

For "tickles my fancy" one could probably substitute "provides amusement or diversion for my imagination."

The Oxford English Dictionary cites examples of the phrase, to wit:

"a1774 TUCKER Lt. Nat. II. 129 Whose play had a quality of striking the joyous perception, or, as we vulgarly say, tickling the fancy. 1837 LOCKHART Scott. an. 1816 note, Such..was the story that went the round of the newspapers at the time, and highly tickled Scott's fancy. 1858 DORAN Crt. Fools 10 Poor as the joke was, it..tickled the fancy of the Tirynthians. . . ."