[Milton-L] light fantastic

James Rovira jamesrovira at gmail.com
Fri Oct 19 20:31:33 EDT 2012


I'd always pictured the phrase as describing someone light on their feet --
and "tripping" in the sense of "trippingly."  The noun phrase may remain
adjectival, actually, with the unspoken noun taken for granted.
 "Fantastic" is a bit more problematic for me until we go back to the
earliest sources that have been uncovered here, which are in reference to a
fairy.  Americans might say they danced all night and had a magical
experience.

Jim R

On Fri, Oct 19, 2012 at 6:35 PM, Horace Jeffery Hodges <
horacejeffery at gmail.com> wrote:

> And I'm beginning to reconsider how to take "light" -- I'd always imagined
> illumination, but is weight (if metaphorically) intended? I have to admit
> that I've never understood what "tripped the light fantastic" means, though
> I assumed it had something to do with dancing gracefully (despite
> tripping!) . . .
>
> Jeffery Hodges
>
>
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