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Tickle your fancy

Posted by ESC on July 28, 2000

In Reply to: Tickle your fancy posted by Bruce Kahl on July 27, 2000

: : This phrase has driven me crazy for weeks now.
: : If anyone knows the origin of this please post.
: : Thanks all

: Fancy is used as a noun in that expression.

: Main Entry: tick·le
: Pronunciation: 'ti-k&l
: 1 a : to excite or stir up agreeably

: Main Entry: fancy
: Function: noun
: NOTION, WHIM b : an image or representation of something formed in the mind
: fantastic quality or state

Childhood memory. When a person was really pleased, someone would say, "Well, give me a feather and we'll both be tickled." Or something like that.

TICKLE YOUR FANCY - "The Wordsworth Book of Euphemisms" by Judith S. Neaman and Carole G. Silver (Wordsworth Editions Ltd., Hertfordshire) under the entry for "Male identified or Oriented. Homosexual (male) says: ".A Molly . A lavender boy and a Nancy, Miss Nancy, Nance or Nancy Boy. The name Nancy has given rise to the British rhyming slang expression 'a tickle your fancy' (after World War II)." The Dictionary of Cliches by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985) has an earlier origin: "Tickle your fancy. Please, divert or amuse you. It is a more delicate image than the companion phrase 'strike your fancy.' Yet in 1774 Abraham Tucker characterized the thought as vulgar. In 'The Light of Nature Pursued' he wrote of animals 'whose play had a quality of striking the joyous perception, or, as we vulgarly, say, tickling the fancy."

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