Wednesday, August 13

foot loose & fancy free

how does that relate to me you ask . . . well my recent set of jabs has actually not been nearly as bad as I had thought, course they did warn that days 4-7 might be worse, but for now I'm happy with minimal pain & itching!

Now back to the title, where ever did that expression come from? I googled it & found this answer:
Footloose is, "Another case of human conduct being likened to the animations of a sail. In most sailing vessels the lower edge of the mainsail, known as the foot, was lashed to a boom to keep it stretched and properly shaped. However, there were some exceptions, notably the London River barges. These did not have a boom and the sail was allowed to hang loose along the foot. Loose-footed sails, as they came to be called, had a mind of their own and were more difficult to control. It is from this that the meaning footloose and fancy free is believed to have come." From "Salty Dog Talk: The Nautical Origins of Everyday Expressions" by Bill Beavis and Richard G. McCloskey (Sheridan House, Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., 1995. First published in Great Britain, 1983).
A second source has the same origin, ".a sail on which the restraining ropes at the base (foot) have been slackened off" and says the phrase "footloose and fancy free" means "Unattached romantically; 'young, free and single'." "Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable" revised by Adrian Room (HarperCollinsPublishers, New York, 1999, Sixteenth Edition).

So maybe you already knew that but I didn't & I thought it was interesting . . . course I'm not sure anyone aside from my mum & dad (btw did you notice where the first book was from?) are reading my blog these days & they probably both already knew that!!

Labels: ,


At 13 August, 2008 22:49, Anonymous dad said...

i knew the meaning but not the historical basis! most interesting!

At 15 August, 2008 11:58, Blogger Sara said...

glad i was able to teach you something :)


Post a Comment

<< Home