Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Fancy.

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Love—i.e. the passion of the fantasy or imagination. A fancyman is a man (not your husband) whom you fancy or select for chaperon.   1
“Tell me where is fancy bred,
Or in the heart or in the head.”
Shakespeare: Merchant of Venice, iii. 2.
   The fancy. Pugilists. So called because boxing is the chief of sports, and fancy means sports, pets, or fancies. Hence “dog-fanciers,” “pigeon-fanciers,” etc.   2



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