Idioms

    fetch and carry, to perform menial tasks.

Origin of fetch

1
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)

Related forms

fetch·er, noun

Synonym study

1. See bring.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for fetch and carry (1 of 2)

fetch

1
/ (fɛtʃ) /

verb (mainly tr)

noun

Word Origin for fetch

Old English feccan; related to Old Norse feta to step, Old High German sih fazzōn to climb

British Dictionary definitions for fetch and carry (2 of 2)

fetch

2
/ (fɛtʃ) /

noun

the ghost or apparition of a living person

Word Origin for fetch

C18: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with fetch and carry

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® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.