The delightful-sounding tickle your fancy is, I think, one of those rare idioms where the word order can be reversed and its meaning changes; the request: fancy a tickle? said with a raised eyebrow and a coy smile can suggest light sexual foreplay, the addressee could be tickled pink at the idea and accept the offer. Things get more serious between two people who have taken a fancy to each other, as more often than not, they are “up for a bit of slap and tickle”; a euphemistic phrase meaning sexual intercourse.
But not all relationships work out in the end, the bright initial spark that lit a fire fizzles out, and when a couple split they become footloose and fancy-free.
It is my understanding that many of the expressions emphasized above are peculiar to British English, and I was wondering if north American speakers say these expressions to one another?
People of a certain generation still say “Whatever tickles your fancy”, but I fear it is becoming dated. Nowadays, what do north Americans say? Are there modern-day equivalents of:
- tickle your fancy
- tickled pink
- take a fancy to
- footloose and fancy-free
I am especially interested in hearing American English/slang idioms or expressions. The rude ones, I know. If you would like to include snippets of their etymology, I'd be very tickled.