fancy meeting you here

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Jackie4ever, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. Jackie4ever Member

    When a person runs into an old friend in a shoping mall and says "Hey, fancy meeting you here." What does that mean? I looked it up in a dictionary, but still have no clue. I guess it means either being surprised or being happy to see that person.

    Thanks in advance.^^

    I saw this in a book, but there's no explanation.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 3, 2009
  2. it's me here Member

    'Fancy' suggests something hard to imagine, and it already indicates surprise to some extent. Besides, 'fancy', when followed by a verb as its object, that verb should be in the v-ing form, according to grammar.
  3. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    Yes, that's it: "What a surprise meeting you here!" (It's something I hadn't expected, wouldn't have imagined happening.)
  4. Elwintee Senior Member

    London England
    England English
    I think the location ("here") plays a part. If you normally only see someone at a pub, then meeting them in church at a wedding would be surprising.
  5. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    In my experience, this phrase about "chance" meetings is almost always meant tongue-in-cheek-- something you'd say to the regulars at your favorite watering hole. There is no real surprise involved, quite the contrary.

    In the same facetious spirit, if you bumped into a couple of the same guys in an elevator later that day, you might say "I guess you're wondering why I called this conference."

    On the way home you get into a fender-bender, and these same jokers are in the other car. You say "hey, we've got to stop meeting like this."
  6. Jackie4ever Member

    Thank you all. I checked this thread quite late and didn't leave a message to say "thank you", which was rude. Anyway, all the comments obove are very helpful. You guys are the reason why I love this forum. Thank you again~^^
  7. Silverobama

    Silverobama Senior Member

    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect

    I wonder if I can use "Fancy meeting you here" in this context.

    I was trying to organize an English Corner (an English-speaking activity) and I sent message to many prospective participants. One of them is called Amy. I'd never thought that Amy would appear at the English-only session (English corner0 at our set place, I am a bit surprised to meet her and I said:

    Fancy meeting you here.

    I think it's not okay or okay, not sure.

    Thanks a lot
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2016
  8. That is very okay and reflects normal usage and understanding.

    On the other hand, it is true that, as foxfirebrand suggests in post 5, we sometime say it humorously to people to comment on the fact that we are always encountering some other person right where we would expect them to be.

    So, if Amy had been coming to the English Corner regularly for the past six months, one evening you might say "Fancy meeting you here" as a friendly greeting joke among friends, since it's so obvious you are NOT surprised at all.:)

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