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The meaning and origin of the expression: Fancy free

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Fancy free

What's the meaning of the phrase 'Fancy free'?

Without any ties or commitments.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Fancy free'?

Portrait of William ShakespeareFrom Shakespeare's A Midsummer Nights Dream, 1598:

That very time I saw, but thou couldst not,
Flying between the cold moon and the earth,
Cupid all arm'd: a certain aim he took
At a fair vestal throned by the west,
And loosed his love-shaft smartly from his bow,
As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts;
But I might see young Cupid's fiery shaft
Quench'd in the chaste beams of the watery moon,
And the imperial votaress passed on,
In maiden meditation, fancy-free.

The extended term 'footloose and fancy-free' is 20th century in origin.

See other - phrases and sayings from Shakespeare.

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