Footloose and fancy free

Posted by R. Berg on October 21, 2001

In Reply to: Footloose and fancy free posted by Sharon on October 21, 2001

: I know what this means, but I'm looking for its origin -- when and where was it first used?

I don't know, but the beginning of an answer is that "footloose" is a recent word as English words go. The first citation for it in the Oxford Engl. Dict. is dated 1873. It's labeled "U.S." The definition there: "Free to act as one pleases; not hampered by any ties."