lead the life of Riley

lead the life of Riley

 and live the life of Riley
Fig. to live in luxury. (No one knows who Riley alludes to.) If I had a million dollars, I could live the life of Riley. The treasurer took our money to Mexico, where he lived the life of Riley until the police caught him.
See also: lead, life, of, riley

lead/live the life of Riley

  (informal)
to have a happy life without hard work, problems or worries He lived the life of Riley, having inherited a huge amount of money.
See also: lead, life, of, riley
References in periodicals archive ?
He thinks I lead the life of Riley playing with the children and gossiping.
Dave, 47, claims that his 70 pigs lead the life of Riley at his farm near Chippenham, Wilts, before being herded off to be turned into chump chops.
That way Keaton's double does all the hard graft, while the original can sit back at home and lead the life of Riley.
3 million for one, and it's easy to see why outsiders think novelists lead the life of Riley.