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  1. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #1

    Fancy that! etc - British or American?

    Is 'fancy' used equally frequently in British and American English with the same meaning? (I am asking because I noticed that in dictionaries most meanings of 'fancy' are often marked as British English)
    1) Fancy! Fancy that!
    2) Fancy her wearing a dress like that at the party!
    3) Fancy riding a bike in winter!
    4) He fancies going abroad in the summer.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Fancy that! etc - British or American?

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    Is 'fancy' used equally frequently in British and American English with the same meaning? (I am asking because I noticed that in dictionaries most meanings of 'fancy' are often marked as British English)
    1) Fancy! Fancy that!
    2) Fancy her wearing a dress like that at the party!
    3) Fancy riding a bike in winter!
    4) He fancies going abroad in the summer.
    Why would dictionaries have marked these phrases as BrE if they are used equally in AmE?

  3. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Fancy that! etc - British or American?

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    3) Fancy riding a bike in winter!
    That's is indeed something some of us actually do. Not wannabes, of course, but true, hard-boiled bikers!!
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  4. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Fancy that! etc - British or American?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Why would dictionaries have marked these phrases as BrE if they are used equally in AmE?
    http://www.macmillandictionary.com/d.../british/fancy - Maybe we should ask them .
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fancy; http://www.thefreedictionary.com/fancy - They don't, as you see.
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: Fancy that! etc - British or American?

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    Is 'fancy' used equally frequently in British and American English with the same meaning? (I am asking because I noticed that in dictionaries most meanings of 'fancy' are often marked as British English)
    1) Fancy! Fancy that!
    2) Fancy her wearing a dress like that at the party!
    3) Fancy riding a bike in winter!
    4) He fancies going abroad in the summer.
    "fancy" anything is not common in the US. It is sometimes used in a sarcastic manner "Well fancy that, a red coat and a black hat."

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    #6

    Re: Fancy that! etc - British or American?

    In that case, the dictionaries are right- we do use it in BrE.

  5. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Fancy that! etc - British or American?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    "fancy" anything is not common in the US. It is sometimes used in a sarcastic manner "Well fancy that, a red coat and a black hat."
    I am afraid I didn't get it - which of the following examples are NOT used in American English? Is it only the first one that is used in AmE?

    1) Fancy! Fancy that!
    2) Fancy her wearing a dress like that at the party!
    3) Fancy riding a bike in winter!
    4) He fancies going abroad in the summer.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

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    #8

    Re: Fancy that! etc - British or American?

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    I am afraid I didn't get it - which of the following examples are NOT used in American English? Is it only the first one that is used in AmE?

    1) Fancy! Fancy that!
    2) Fancy her wearing a dress like that at the party!
    3) Fancy riding a bike in winter!
    4) He fancies going abroad in the summer.
    Allow me to clarify this for you. In common American speech "fancy" is not used in the way presented here. "fancy", in the US, means something overly done. For example, "She has such a fancy automobile. I would go to the dance but it is too fancy for me." From my understanding "fancy" in British English means imagine - Fancy that = Imagine that. Of course, "fancy" is sometimes used in the US the same as it is in England. In addition, in my neighborhood, I can hear phrases in: Spanish, German, some Russian, Southern American (y'all come now, ya hear), as well as Appalachian English. The point I made in an earlier posting is that "fancy" (the British version as discussed above) is not common in the US.

  6. Raymott's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Fancy that! etc - British or American?

    Quote Originally Posted by charliedeut View Post
    1. I don't think we need to. The answer would have to be that they believe from their research that it is true. My question was rhetorical.
    2. Of course, but by "dictionaries" I was referring to those the OP quotes as saying they do. And by "they", you are referring only to those which do not say this. So, either "dictionaries" aren't "dictionaries", or the word must be understood in the context in which it's used.

    Without wishing to appear to be taking your post more seriously than you intended, in English, we often say things like, "How can people watch this rubbish on TV?" What we mean is, "How can the people who watch this rubbish on TV watch this rubbish on TV." Demonstrating that some people don't is not proof that those that do don't, and it is these latter that "people" refers to in the original.
    Last edited by Raymott; 20-Feb-2014 at 02:49.

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