Leading the life of Riley - Idioms by The Free Dictionary
lead the life of Riley (redirected from leading the life of Riley)
lead the life of Riley
To live a life of great ease, comfort, or luxury. The phrase is likely of early 20th-century Irish-American origin, but to whom Riley refers is uncertain. Pampered from a young age after his father came into sudden wealth, Jonathan led the life of Riley compared to the hardships his older siblings faced.
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.
lead/live the life of Reilly/ˈRiley (informal) have a comfortable and enjoyable life without any worries: He inherited a lot of money and since then he’s been living the life of Riley.
References in periodicals archive
These two boys are leading the life of Riley and drawing pay from the armed forces.
These two boys are leading the life of Riley and drawing pay from the armed forces and their contribution to their military effort is absolutely zilch.
There were none asking if you've had an accident in the last five years, no obnoxious children holding their noses in a lavatory or women leading the life of Riley
because they've found better sanitary protection.