Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

how to use the word fancy in English

Do you like to buy fancy things?

Do you like to wear fancy clothes?

Do you know how to use the word “fancy” in English?

Find out today!

Today we are talking about the word “fancy” and this is a great question because depending on what kind of English you’re learning, this might mean very different things.

We have a great question from Priska who is one of our longtime listeners and a student in our Bridge to Connection Method course.

Before we start remember to hit subscribe to this show so that you get our updates four times a week and get the 7 Secrets to Connection in English.

It’s a free video lesson that tells you what you need to do to connect in English.


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Here is Priska’s question:

Have you ever done a podcast about how to use the word “fancy”? (I didn’t find anything on your website). I ask you this question because this word seems to have different meanings. I’ve seen it in different contexts such as “fancy a chat? You can call me blablabla…” or “something fancy” as an adjective. Finally, I would like to thank you again for your great job. Your common sense, your good advice and your positive energy are remarkable!

Take care everyone, Priska


Great question!

This is definitely a common word.

We’re going to give you some confidence to use it today.


Fancy as a verb:

The first example you gave is how to use fancy as a verb. Here is another example, “fancy a chat?’  or  “She fancies that guy.”

Using fancy in this way is very British.

We don’t teach British English so we can’t speak with authority on this, but basically Americans would say:

  • “Do you want to chat?”
  • “Are you in the mood for a chat?”
  • “Feel like chatting?”


Fancy as an adjective:

The second example that Priska gave is the way that we are familiar with in American English.

This is when it is used as an adjective.

It means something is upscale and probably expensive.

It could also mean something more professional and worth paying more for.


  • “This is a fancy restaurant. I wonder what their prices are.”
  • “She got a fancy new car.”


Fancy as a noun:

 A third way that you could use fancy is as a noun.

It’s a feeling of like or attraction.


  • “Does that strike your fancy?”
  • “This does not mean that the law should change with every passing fancy” (dictionary example)


Fancy as a fun expression:

We can also use the word fancy in a few different fun expressions to express emotions.

  • “Woah, fancy!”
  • “Fancypants”
  • “Nothin’ fancy”



Fancy can be used as a verb, adjective, or noun depending on where you’re from. It is also used in fun expressions that you should notice and start using when you get the chance.

Don’t be afraid to use it.

Try it out and see what happens.

Also, be sure to talk to a British English speaker about how they use it.


What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Let us know in the comments below.

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