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airy-fairy

[air-ee-fair-ee] /ˈɛər iˈfɛər i/
adjective
1.
Informal.
  1. delicate or lovely:
    an airy-fairy actress; an airy-fairy nightgown.
  2. not based on reality or concerned with mundane affairs; unrealistic:
    airy-fairy ideas about spending a fortune that isn't even his.
2.
Slang. effeminate; swishy.
Origin
perhaps orig. in the phrase “airy, fairy Lilian” in Tennyson's poem “Lilian” (1830)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for airy fairy

airy-fairy

/ˈɛərɪˈfɛərɪ/
adjective
1.
(informal) fanciful and unrealistic: an airy-fairy scheme
2.
delicate to the point of being insubstantial; light
Word Origin
C19: from Tennyson's poem Lillian (1830), where the central figure is described as "Airy, fairy Lillian"
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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