merry


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merry-andrew

1. adjective Amusingly foolish or idiotic; of or characterized by clownish behavior or sensibilities, especially in public. Though at first I found him quite funny, Tommy's merry-andrew routine has grown quite tiresome lately.
2. noun A person who acts like a clown or buffoon in public, especially for the amusement of others; a fool or idiot in general. I know you enjoy the attention that being a merry-andrew brings, but if you act like a fool all the time, people will start believing you actually are one.

eat, drink, and be merry

A call for others to enjoy themselves, usually in the context of a party or other festive gathering. Come on, people, this is a party—eat, drink, and be merry!
See also: and, merry

in merry pin

Happy; in good spirits. I'm glad to see my sister in merry pin on our vacation because she's usually so stressed out these days.
See also: merry, pin

merry dance

A deliberate waste of time. She led me on a merry dance as she tried to explain why she missed our meeting.
See also: dance, merry

eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die

A call for others to enjoy themselves, usually in the context of a party or other festive gathering. The phrase is often shortened to "eat, drink, and be merry." Come on, people, this is a party—eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die!
See also: and, die, tomorrow, we

lead (one) (on) a merry dance

To waste someone's time or cause someone a great deal of confusion through deceitful, manipulative, or inexplicable behavior. You should have just said you weren't interested in investing from the beginning, rather than leading us on a merry dance for three weeks! If someone in whom you are uninterested is pursuing you romantically, do not lead them a merry dance—make your feelings clear from the get go.
See also: dance, lead, merry

play (merry) hell with (someone or something)

informal To cause issues or disruptions for someone or something. This wonky Internet signal is playing merry hell with my site edits right now.
See also: hell, play

more the merrier

A phrase used to welcome one to join a group or activity. Oh sure, you can come to the mall with us—the more the merrier!
See also: merry, more

play merry hell

To complain loudly or disruptively; to behave in a chaotic or disruptive manner. The team's star quarterback played merry hell about the team's new policy, but he fell in line once the season started. The kids have been playing merry hell since dinner. I think we need to get them to bed!
See also: hell, merry, play

Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.

Prov. Enjoy yourself whenever you can, because you may die soon. ("Eat, drink, and be merry" by itself is simply a way of encouraging people to enjoy themselves.) Fred: No cake for me, thank you. I'm on a diet. Jane: But, Fred, this is a birthday party. Eat, drink, and be merry. Natasha encouraged all her guests to eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.
See also: and, die, tomorrow, we

lead someone on a merry chase

Fig. to lead someone in a purposeless pursuit. What a waste of time. You really led me on a merry chase. Jane led Bill on a merry chase trying to find an antique lamp.
See also: chase, lead, merry, on

make merry

to have fun; to have an enjoyable time. The guests certainly made merry at the wedding. The children were making merry in the backyard.
See also: make, merry

*merry as a cricket

 and *merry as the day is long
very happy and carefree. (*Also: as ~.) Mary is as merry as a cricket whenever she has company come to call. The little children are as merry as the day is long.
See also: cricket, merry

more the merrier

Cliché the more people there are, the happier the situation will be. Of course you can have a ride with us! The more the merrier. The manager hired a new employee even though there's not enough work for all of us now. Oh, well, the more the merrier.
See also: merry, more

lead a chase

Also, lead a merry chase or dance . Mislead someone; waste someone's time. For example, Mary refuses to commit herself and is leading John a merry chase, or Harry led us all a dance; we were waiting at the hotel and he'd gone to the movies. [First half of 1500s]
See also: chase, lead

more the merrier, the

The larger the number involved, the better the occasion. For example, John's invited all his family to come along, and why not? The more the merrier. This expression was first recorded in 1530, when it was put as "The more the merrier; the fewer, the better fare" (meaning "with fewer there would be more to eat"), an observation that made its way into numerous proverb collections.
See also: more

lead someone a merry dance

BRITISH
If someone leads you a merry dance while you are trying to achieve something, they cause a lot of problems for you, often by doing something to trick you. They had led the Irish Government a merry dance for the last seven months. Note: You can also say that someone leads you a dance or leads you a merry chase. I began to court the lady who last year became my second wife. She led me quite a dance, but I never gave up. He was fast becoming a kind of cult figure, always leading the police a merry chase.
See also: dance, lead, merry

play hell

or

play merry hell

mainly BRITISH
If someone plays hell or plays merry hell, they cause trouble by behaving badly or complaining a lot. I went to the school and played hell with them. She played merry hell and stormed out in a rage. Note: Verbs such as kick up, raise or create can be used instead of play. I will be raising merry hell at the meeting tomorrrow.
See also: hell, play

play hell with something

or

play merry hell with something

mainly BRITISH
If one thing plays hell with another or plays merry hell with another, the first thing has a bad effect on the second one or causes great confusion. Divorce and remarriage play hell with property and inheritance law. Slugs play merry hell with growing plants.
See also: hell, play, something

merry (or lively) as a grig

full of fun; extravagantly lively.
The meaning and origin of the word grig are unknown. Samuel Johnson conjectured in his Dictionary that it referred to ‘anything below the natural size’. A sense that fits in with the lively version of this idiom is ‘a young or small eel in fresh water’. The phrases merry grig and merry Greek , meaning ‘a lively, playful person’, were both in use in the mid 16th century, but it is impossible to establish the precise relationship between them or to be certain which may be an alteration of the other.
See also: merry

the more the merrier

the more people or things there are the better a situation will be.
See also: merry, more

ˌeat, drink and be ˈmerry

(saying) said to encourage somebody to enjoy life now, while they can, and not to think of the future
See also: and, drink, merry

the ˌmore the ˈmerrier

(saying) the more people or things there are, the better the situation will be or the more fun people will have: Bring as many friends as you like to the party. The more the merrier.
See also: merry, more

make ˈmerry

(old-fashioned) enjoy yourself by singing, laughing, drinking, etc: There was a group of rugby players making merry in the bar last night until gone 2 o’clock. ▶ ˈmerrymaking noun: There was a lot of merrymaking in this town when Leeds won the cup final.
See also: make, merry
References in classic literature ?
This wedlock was more serious than most affairs of Merry Mount, where jest and delusion, trick and fantasy, kept up a continual carnival.
Begin you the stave, reverend Sir," cried they all; "and never did the woods ring to such a merry peal as we of the Maypole shall send up
Early the next morning, a gleam of his merry humor returned, on finding that his wounded limb retained its natural proportions.
At first the thing was merry and pleasant enough; but when it had gone on a while, and there seemed to be no end of playing or dancing, they began to cry out, and beg him to leave off; but he stopped not a whit the more for their entreaties, till the judge not only gave him his life, but promised to return him the hundred florins.
Selfridge Merry, installed in the honorary arm-chairs tacitly reserved for them, paused to listen to the younger man's philippic.
Selfridge Merry looked genuinely alarmed, and an expression of pain and disgust settled on Mr.
Besides this, they swore never to harm a child nor to wrong a woman, be she maid, wife, or widow; so that, after a while, when the people began to find that no harm was meant to them, but that money or food came in time of want to many a poor family, they came to praise Robin and his merry men, and to tell many tales of him and of his doings in Sherwood Forest, for they felt him to be one of themselves.
Up rose Robin Hood one merry morn when all the birds were singing blithely among the leaves, and up rose all his merry men, each fellow washing his head and hands in the cold brown brook that leaped laughing from stone to stone.
Her gleesome voice and merry laugh were the sweetest music of their home.
The noise of soft voices in conversation, and of merry laughter, fell upon his ears ere he had advanced many paces; and raising his eyes higher than was his humble wont, he descried, at no great distance, the five sisters seated on the grass, with Alice in the centre: all busily plying their customary task of embroidering.
Maybe not; but we'd a merry time of it, too, though mingled with sorrow and pain, as Lowborough knows to his cost - Ha, ha
The storm swooped down, enveloped him and the haycock on which he was lying, and the other haycocks, and the wagon-loads, and the whole meadow and distant fields all seemed to be shaking and singing to the measures of this wild merry song with its shouts and whistles and clapping.
All that was drowned in a sea of merry common labor.
A weakness on his part, which affords the narrative an opportunity of relieving the reader from suspense, in behalf of the two young pupils of the Merry Old Gentleman; and of recording--
The noise of footsteps on the creaking stairs, a few minutes after the occurrence of this conversation, roused the merry old gentleman as he sat over the fire with a saveloy and a small loaf in his hand; a pocket-knife in his right; and a pewter pot on the trivet.