Tripping the light fantastic


I was watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel the other day, when I noticed something. In the episode I was watching, the Maisel family is on vacation in the Catskills, and Moishe asks his wife, Shirley, to dance with him. He says

Shirley Maisel, it’s time to trip the light fantastic, you big winner.

Which, of course, reminded me of this scene from Mary Poppins Returns:

So, I looked up the phrase to find out its significance. Actually, my mom initially looked up, if we’re going to get technical. This is what we found:

To “trip the light fantastic” is to dance nimbly or lightly, or to move in a pattern to musical accompaniment. It is often used in a humorous vein. As early as 1908, it was viewed as a cliché or hackneyed phrase


I know, I know. It’s from Wikipedia. But at least it provides a basic definition of the phrase.

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