happy as a sandboy
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happy as a sandboyBRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
If you are happy as a sandboy, you are very happy. He's all smiles and happy as a sandboy. Note: Sandboys were boys or men who sold bags of sand from carts. It is possible that they were described as `happy' because they had a reputation for spending their money on alcohol.
happy as a sandboyextremely happy; perfectly contented with your situation.
An 1823 dictionary describes a sandboy as an urchin who sold sand in the streets, and according to the same source the expression jolly as a sandboy was already proverbial by that date for ‘a merry fellow who has tasted a drop’. A common British version of the phrase is happy as Larry , Larry being a pet name for Lawrence . This saying is sometimes connected with the renowned boxer Larry Foley ( 1847–1917 ); on the other hand, it may owe something to larry , a dialect word used by Thomas Hardy , meaning ‘a state of excitement’. The North American version is happy as a clam , which apparently originated in the early 19th century on the east coast, where clams are plentiful: the full version happy as a clam at high water explains the source of the clam's satisfaction.