Wednesday Why-I-Love-The-Weekly-World-News Blogging

September 22nd, 2010at 11:33am Posted by Eli

The Weekly World News does etymology!

“For many years, the expression ‘fancy shmancy’ was thought to be of Yiddish origin, uttered by tailors, mothers, and more mothers to describe someone who was unnaturally self-impressed,” philology Professor Gardner Broome of the Dover College of Origins told Weekly World News.  “We now know that to be wrong.”

The revelation came in a long-lost diary, found buried in the banks of the River Seine in Paris.  It was written by the Fourteenth Vicomte of Shmancy, Luc Fancie, in the late 1780s.

“After bumming around Europe for years as a semi-professional rogue, Fancie married the wealthy Duchess Marie Shmancie and added her name – and her property – to his,” Broome explained.  “Given that all he owned were his name and the clothes on his lazy back, he brought little to the union.”

According to the diary, after assuming his title, the new vicomte began dressing as befitted his lofty stature.  He wore only the finest silks, the most outrageous plumage and the nattiest neckwear.  His ostentation revealed a true lack of breeding and his true nature as a crass opportunist.

“After a few months of this, acquaintances of the couple privately referred to him by his compound name,” Broome went on.  “Indeed, any person or thing that reminded them of the miserable pretender became known as ‘like Fancie-Shmancie.’  Eventually, this crossed the Channel and was anglicized as Fancy-Shmancy.”

Ironically, when last seen, the vicomte was every inch ‘himself.’

“Wearing his finest attire, the nobleman was torn from his carriage by an angry mob during the Reign of Terror,” Broome said.  “The last entry was written in his own blood as he was taken to the guillotine.

“‘I am about to lose my head,’ he wrote.  ‘Happily, I wore my finest hat this morning, so I shall go out in style.’

“He was Fancie-Shmancie to the last.”

The Weekly World News is a vastly underrated educational resource.

Entry Filed under: Weekly World News


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