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Related to clammer: clamming, clamming up

close as a clam

Safe from harm. Likened to a clam closing its shell to protect itself. All of the doors and windows are locked. Don't worry, we'll be close as a clam in here.
See also: clam, close

happy as a clam at high tide

Very joyful and content. Clams are dug at low tide, so a clam at high tide would be able to remain uncaught. Look at your sister out there! She's happy as a clam at high tide now that she's back in the starting lineup again. I know I'll be happy as a clam at high tide once I get this stupid cast off my leg.
See also: clam, happy, high, tide

clam up

To suddenly stop talking or refuse to speak, typically due to a particular reason. The phrase refers to a clam closing its shell. Naturally, everyone clammed up as soon as the check came. Our usual informant clammed up when he realized there was a mole in the department.
See also: clam, up

clam up

to say nothing. (Closing one's mouth in the way that a clam closes up.) The minute they got him in for questioning, he clammed up. You'll clam up if you know what's good for you.
See also: clam, up

*happy as a clam (at high tide)

 and *happy as a clam (in butter sauce); *happy as a lark; *happy as can be
contented; very happy. (*Also: as ~.) I've been as happy as a clam since I moved to the country. I don't need much. Just somewhere to live, some work to do, and a TV to watch, and I'm happy as a clam at high tide. Matthew was happy as a lark throughout his whole vacation. Bob was happy as can be when he won the lottery.
See also: clam, happy

clam up

to refuse to talk or answer Every time I think he's going to tell me what's bothering him, he just clams up.
Etymology: based on the behavior of a clam (a sea creature), which quickly closes its shell when something touches it
See also: clam, up

(as) happy as a clam

very happy I am happy as a clam living all by myself in this little house by the sea.
Etymology: based on the full form of the phrase happy as a clam in mud at high tide (a clam that cannot be dug up and eaten, which therefore could be considered happy)
See also: clam, happy

be as happy as Larry/a sandboy

  (British & Australian) also be as happy as a clam (American)
to be very happy and to have no worries We married nine days after we met, and three years on we're happy as Larry. Since he's been at college he's as happy as a clam.
See also: happy, Larry, sandboy

shut up like a clam

to suddenly stop talking and to refuse to say any more
Usage notes: A clam is a fish with a shell which closes up very quickly if something attacks it.
When I asked him about his trip to Korea, he shut up like a clam.
See also: clam, like, shut, up

clam up

Refuse to talk or respond, as in Whenever she asks her teenager about his activities, he clams up. This term alludes to the tightly closed valves of a live clam. [Slang; early 1900s]
See also: clam, up

happy as the day is long

Also, happy as a lark; happy as a clam (at high tide). Extremely glad, delighted, very cheerful, as in He was happy as the day is long, or When she heard the news she was happy as a lark, or Once I got the test results I was happy as a clam at high tide. The first of these similes dates from the late 1700s. The second alludes to the lark's beautiful, seemingly very happy, song. The third, from the early 1800s, alludes to the fact that clams can only be dug at low tide and therefore are safe at high tide; it is often shortened to happy as a clam.
See also: happy, long

clam up

v. Slang
To refuse to talk or to stop talking suddenly: The politician clammed up when the reporters started to ask about the scandal.
See also: clam, up


1. n. a dollar. (Underworld.) You got a couple of clams I can bum for a little bottle?
2. n. a tight-lipped person. Suddenly, she became a clam and wouldn’t talk anymore.

clam up

in. to get quiet. (see also dummy up.) The minute they got him inside the cop-shop, he clammed up.
See also: clam, up
References in periodicals archive ?
In Washington, the opening of clam season (fall into spring, a weekend per month) can attract thousands of clammers on one beach.
Some of the excess workers have been working as clammers.
Officials in Boston have asked clammers to test technology that controls access to airport perimeters.
National Sea Clammers Association, (142) when a [section] 1983 claim is based on a violation of a federal statute, courts refuse to allow a plaintiff to bring a statutory-based [section] 1983 claim where the statute itself provides a sufficiently comprehensive scheme for relief (the "Sea Clammers" doctrine).
Oliver observes that native clams such as Thoreau digested "may have been important for the subsistence of clammers, but for most others they were a recreational shellfish," insignificant in the diets of most nineteenth-century New Englanders and certainly "not food to offer guests at an important meal" (373).
National Sea Clammers Association, the Court ruled that the "comprehensive enforcement mechanisms" of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and the Marine, Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act showed "congressional intent to preclude the remedy of suits under [section] 1983.
Years of pollution and other impacts have combined to so degrade Stockton Harbor that only a tiny fraction of its hundreds of acres of storied clam flats is still open to clammers, worm diggers, and seaweed harvesters.
Three rough-looking clammers are playing with a dog.
National Sea Clammers Association,(75) for example, the Court held that the "unusually elaborate enforcement provisions"(76) of two environmental statutes--which required prior notice to federal and state authorities and authorized only prospective relief--foreclosed damages suits under [sections] 1983.
Alaska's clammers will appreciate that ASTF pledged $311,000 to team up with Jellett Biotek, which put up more than $825,000 to come up with a way to test clams for signs of paralytic shellfish poisoning and amnesiac shellfish poisoning, infrequent killers in coastal villages or where subsistence activities are high.
People from the elegant Georgetown neighborhood in Washington where Colby mainly lived, on down to Rock Point, a tiny town of crabbers, oystermen, clammers and a few well-heeled weekenders, say it's the stuff of spy novels.
Local clammers have been complaining in recent years about diminishing numbers of shellfish.
It is recommended that clammers always check the Oregon Department of Agriculture's "shellfish safety hotline" before harvesting clams or mussels, as these critters are filter-feeders that can pick up toxins from algae blooms.
No samples were taken from the creek area because the creek bivalve population is highly disrupted throughout the year by clammers and biological research (Willings, Jr.
National Sea Clammers Ass'n, (18) the court found that, because Congress had developed a comprehensive remedial scheme under the ADA, it had foreclosed the plaintiffs recourse to [section] 1983.