12.12.2020 – where is fancy bread

where is fancy bread
miss one letter and world turns
words I wish we had

Not to proud to admit that when I hear the line, “Where is fancy bred?”, I do NOT think first of William Shakespeare and his play the Merchant of Venice.

Big Bill has the line in a song in Act 3 Scene 2 that is sung by the household of Portia while her boyfriend ponders the choice of one of three metal boxes.

One of gold.

One of silver.

One of lead.

Choose the right box and win the girl.

As the boyfriend, Bassanio, thinks about it, the household servants sing:

Tell me where is fancy bred,
Or in the heart or in the head?
How begot, how nourished?
Reply, reply.

It is engender’d in the eyes,
With gazing fed; and fancy dies
In the cradle, where it lies.
Let us all ring fancy’s knell;
I’ll begin it – Ding, dong, bell.”

Then they all sing Ding Dong Bell.

Somehow this is a clue and Bassyboy picks the right lead box and wins the girl and goes off to make a really bad deal with a loan shark.


That is not what comes to mind when I hear, “where is fancy bred.”

What I think about is the line as used in the movie, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

After the gum-chewing Violet Beauregarde turns into a blueberry and is rolled away, Wonka muses outloud, “where is fancy bred, in the heart or in the head?”

To make matters worse, I always have heard the line as using the word BREAD and not BRED and thought that Wonka was taking about something called ‘fancy bread’ and that while it was an object to be desired, was it a desire of the head or heart … or stomach?

You can put fancy bread into the google and gets lots of recipes.

All this to say that I like that word fancy.

Its an english word or british or angelican or however you want to put it.

Like flats, crisps and biscuits for apartments, potato chips and cookies but not really.

There isn’t a good american word for fancy.

Bernard Wooley says in the TV Show Yes Minister, “That’s one of those irregular verbs, isn’t it. I have an independent mind, you are an eccentric, he is round the twist.”


Fancy that.

Well, fancy that.

Americans use it occasionally.

But the Brits use it a lot.

Fancy a pint?

Do you fancy her?

The online dictionary says that as an adjective it means elaborate in structure or decoration.

As a verb, feel a desire or liking for.

And as a NOUN, a feeling of liking or attraction, typically one that is superficial or transient.

It is some how connection or contracted from fantasy.

From that we get another use as a noun and that is the faculty of imagination.

As in flights of fancy.


Simple little word.

And not so simple.

Got to find a way to use this little word more often.

Or is this just a passing fancy?

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