I heard the saying below, and don't understand what it means. I heard it in a concert, but it is also recorded in an american book of proverbs linked below.

(b) In spring a young man's fancy turns to what the woman has been thinking all winter.

A Dictionary of American Proverbs by Mieder, Kingsbury, and Harder (Google Books) page 299

I do gather that it's about love in some way, but I don't understand it in any detail. Can anyone explain it for me?

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    It's an allusion to a line from Tennyson's Locksley Hall, once so widely quoted it became a cliché: In the Spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love. The tired implication is that women think constantly about love. May 24, 2016 at 22:30
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    Funny, not five minutes ago, watching the kid across the street, I was thinking "In Spring a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of overhauling his carburetor." May 26, 2016 at 3:02

1 Answer 1


I'm looking for references to "A young man's fancy turns to..." The usual quote is similar to "In spring a young man's fancy turns to love." This uses "fancy" to indicate one's passions or interests. In the UK "fancy" still means to love or care for in some manner.

It means when a young man's interests turn to love they will no doubt find a young woman and they, no doubt, will have a similar passion they have been nursing all Winter long.

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