fetch and carry

fetch

1 [fech]
verb (used with object)
1.
to go and bring back; return with; get: to go up a hill to fetch a pail of water.
2.
to cause to come; bring: to fetch a doctor.
3.
to sell for or bring (a price, financial return, etc.): The horse fetched $50 more than it cost.
4.
Informal. to charm; captivate: Her beauty fetched the coldest hearts.
5.
to take (a breath).
6.
to utter (a sigh, groan, etc.).
7.
to deal or deliver (a stroke, blow, etc.).
8.
to perform or execute (a movement, step, leap, etc.).
9.
Chiefly Nautical and British Dialect. to reach; arrive at: to fetch port.
10.
Hunting. (of a dog) to retrieve (game).
verb (used without object)
11.
to go and bring things.
12.
Chiefly Nautical. to move or maneuver.
13.
Hunting. to retrieve game (often used as a command to a dog).
14.
to go by an indirect route; circle (often followed by around or about ): We fetched around through the outer suburbs.
noun
15.
the act of fetching.
16.
the distance of fetching: a long fetch.
17.
Oceanography.
a.
an area where ocean waves are being generated by the wind.
b.
the length of such an area.
18.
the reach or stretch of a thing.
19.
a trick; dodge.
Verb phrases
20.
fetch about, Nautical. (of a sailing vessel) to come onto a new tack.
21.
fetch up,
a.
Informal. to arrive or stop.
b.
Older Use. to raise (children); bring up: She had to fetch up her younger sisters.
c.
Nautical. (of a vessel) to come to a halt, as by lowering an anchor or running aground; bring up.
Idioms
22.
fetch and carry, to perform menial tasks.

Origin:
before 1000; Middle English fecchen, Old English fecc(e)an, variant of fetian to fetch (compare Middle English feten, fetten, British dialect fet; akin to Old English -fat in sīthfat journey, German fassen to grasp)

fetcher, noun


1. See bring.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
fetch1 (fɛtʃ)
 
vb
1.  to go after and bring back; get: to fetch help
2.  to cause to come; bring or draw forth: the noise fetched him from the cellar
3.  (also intr) to cost or sell for (a certain price): the table fetched six hundred pounds
4.  to utter (a sigh, groan, etc)
5.  informal to deal (a blow, slap, etc)
6.  (also intr) nautical to arrive at or proceed by sailing
7.  informal to attract: to be fetched by an idea
8.  (used esp as a command to dogs) to retrieve (shot game, an object thrown, etc)
9.  rare to draw in (a breath, gasp, etc), esp with difficulty
10.  fetch and carry to perform menial tasks or run errands
 
n
11.  the reach, stretch, etc, of a mechanism
12.  a trick or stratagem
13.  the distance in the direction of the prevailing wind that air or water can travel continuously without obstruction
 
[Old English feccan; related to Old Norse feta to step, Old High German sih fazzōn to climb]

fetch2 (fɛtʃ)
 
n
the ghost or apparition of a living person
 
[C18: of unknown origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

fetch
O.E. feccan, apparently a variant of fetian, fatian "to fetch, bring, to marry," probably from P.Gmc. *fatojanan (cf. O.N. feta "to find one's way," O.H.G. sih faggon "to mount, climb"), related to O.E. fot "foot." Variant form fet, a derivation of the older O.E. version of the word, survived as a competitor
until 17c. Related: Fetched.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

fetch and carry

Do errands and other menial tasks, as in She was hired as administrative assistant, but all she does is fetch and carry for the department's supervisor. This expression originally alluded to dogs that were taught to carry various objects for their masters. It has been applied to humans since the late 1700s.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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