Living The Life of Riley




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Living The Life of Riley : Phrases



Meaning:

Living easily without having to work hard, to have an easy life.


Example:

While I'm out working hard all day, you are home living the life of Riley.


Origin:

Living the life of Riley was popularized by a radio show of the 1940s, which spawned a television program in 1948 that originally starred Jackie Gleason but later starred William Bendix as the lead character.

Chester A. Riley was a sort of layabout, working class Brooklyn riveter who always managed to do everything with the minimum of effort, just getting by. The show was very funny and very popular.

What a revoltin' development this is was the catch phrase sweeping the country in the summer of 1943. This expression of Riley was a big part of this "typical" family man.

Riley managed to change any ant-hill of a problem into a Grade-A disaster! For 8 years, Riley's weekly mishaps included his wife, their two kids, co-worker Gillis, and the friendly undertaker Digby
Digger O'Dell. The funeral director ended each appearance with a Cheerio, I'd better be shoveling off.

Living the life of Riley came into the language to indicate a state of being to wished for but, probably, never to be attained. In fact the phrase pre-dated the radio program.







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