fancied herself

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Senior Member
Portuguese, Brazil
Hi, fellows,
in this sentence: When she was discontented, she fancied herself nervous.
What would be a more exact meaning of fancied:
1) she pretended she was nervous...
2) she imagined she was nervous...
  • anothersmith

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    Generally, "to fancy oneself _______ " means "to consider/imagine oneself ________." The blank space can be filled with an adjective or a noun.

    So number 2 is correct.


    Senior Member
    To round the topic off, it's worth noting that "fancy" originally came from "fantasy", meaning imagination; hence "to fancy oneself" is to imagine something about oneself.


    Senior Member
    Very good explanations :D

    For example, when Mrs Bennet ("Pride and Prejudice") had the slightest annoyance, she fancied herself nervous. It means she started to complain that her poor nerves were under so much stress and that nobody cared.

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    That usage has largely died in BE. To fancy someone means to find them sexually attractive; to fancy oneself is to behave as though one thought oneself sexually attractive; to others, I hasten to add.

    Of course the nervous renders this meaning non-viable and would probably leave the modern BE speaker rather puzzled, though he'd probably guess what meaning was intended.


    Senior Member
    English UK
    "Fancy" = imagine, view

    She fancied herself nervous: she imagined herself nervous; she saw herself as nervous

    The answer is (2)

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