[Ads-l] "dancing fool" 'a fool for dancing'

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Fri Apr 26 23:12:32 UTC 2019

i've stumbled on this formulaic expression in preparing a posting (it comes up in a song from the Broadway show "Once Upon a Mattress", a song sung by the Jester -- i.e., a fool), and started to track it down, but easy places on the net provided nothing useful, and (in my latest computer screwup) the OED is at least temporarily unavailable to me.  it isn't crucial to my posting, but my curiosity has been piquied...

is there literature about the the history of this expression?  is there a history of a larger usage "V-ing fool"?  (or are such occurrences parasitic on "dancing fool"?)


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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