happy as a sandboy
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(as) happy as a sandboy
In very good spirits. It is possible that sandboys (boys who sold sand in Victorian England) were said to be so happy because they were paid in alcoholic beverages. Primarily heard in UK. I was as happy as a sandboy when I found out that I'd gotten an A on my hardest exam.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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.
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