One for the ‘Huh?’ Files

I read a lot of trashy novels. Sometimes they are British novels, and the slang within holds no mysteries. Usually. But there’s a saying I see sometimes when I’m reading. It makes no sense:

“I fancy you rotten.”

A figurative translation: I really want to fuck you.

But literally? It sounds like “I want to fuck you because you’re rotten” or “I want to fuck you until you are rotten”.

Unless the British public have more inherent kinkiness than I’d imagined, the only thing I can think of is that this really means, “I have wanted to fuck you for so long that I am now past my prime, and therefore, am figuratively rotten.” Honestly, that’s no way to get anyone into bed.

Any insights?

7 Comments to “One for the ‘Huh?’ Files”

  1. By Moz, January 24, 2006 @ 4:33 am

    Hiya Liz

    As an englishman i understand this phrase perfectly and I would like to clarify.
    But first let me explain that as a nation we are inherently kinky. Our national trait is to suppress sexual feelings and to view sexual activities as dirty and depraved as a general rule. No sex before marriage was the norm until the swinging sixties. When something is forbidden, prohibited and taboo it makes the people want it much more than if it was freely available. Therefore when we do fuck we are unleashing all the weight of national guilt and frustration heaped upon us. Innuendo and double entendres are part of everyday chat. As an example watch any “Carry on …” film from the sixties and seventies and you will know what i mean. All this prohibition and suppression leads to one thing – we are a damn good fuck.
    Oh yeah, the phrase you wanted to explain.
    It doesn’t mean anything really. We say “I want that new car something rotten” etc. You are looking too hard for a meaning when there is none.
    The American equivalent is “I want to fuck the shit out of you”. Do you really want to have sex so hard that shit flies out? I doubt it but tell me your view it would be nice x

  2. By sarah, January 24, 2006 @ 6:37 am

    As weird, though less sexual in nature is a phrase I am guilty of using myself: “I love you to bits.” I use this towards my children, and I know I don’t want them to be in any smaller pieces than they already are, so what’s up with me?

  3. By Liz, January 24, 2006 @ 3:13 pm

    You are a mother; you don’t need logic!

    Seriously, it is kind of strange when you think about it. You love them so much they’re going to fall apart? I hope not!

  4. By Liz, January 25, 2006 @ 11:09 pm

    I say “I love you to pieces.”, which I got from my mom. Thinking about it, it doesn’t make sense.

    Of course, the one phrase I can say in Persian means “You’re so cute” but literally translates to “May the mice eat you”; so the squishing and squooshing and crushing the tiny heads of the cute is probably universal.

  5. By arwen, January 25, 2006 @ 11:15 pm

    Okay, that last comment? Me. I forgot to log you off, Liz.

  6. By Liz, January 26, 2006 @ 12:01 am

    Moz, you are correct. There is no way I want anyone to fuck me so hard shit flies out. I’d forgotten “I want to fuck the shit out of you”

    Arwen, “May the mice eat you”? Really? Why haven’t you taught me this valuable phrase?

  7. By Beth, January 27, 2006 @ 7:12 pm

    How about the very comment phrase: I want it so bad… I want to fuck you so bad… Let’s just agree that idioms often don’t make a lot of sense, but we all understand them.
    However, “I just want to eat you up” is really a good description of that feeling you get holding a really cute baby. Obviously, it’s not a desire to actually bite into the kid. But that overwhemling joy and appreciation that makes you smack your lips. Mice nibbling kind of little kisses on baby scented necks. I understand the sentiment.

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