live the life of Riley

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live the life of Riley

To lead 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 lived the life of Riley compared to the hardships his older siblings faced.
See also: life, live, of, riley

live the life of Riley

If someone lives the life of Riley, they have a very enjoyable life because they have plenty of money and no problems. He was living the life of Riley while we had barely enough to eat. It was like paradise. It was just like living the life of Riley. Note: People sometimes use the verbs lead or have instead of live. These people moan about their lives when in reality they're having the life of Riley. Note: This expression often shows disapproval or envy. Note: This expression probably comes from a song `Is That Mr Reilly', which was popular in America in the 1880's and described what Reilly's life would be like if he was rich.
See also: life, live, of, riley

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.
See also: lead, life, live, of, Reilly, riley
References in periodicals archive ?
Today, due to ridiculous socialism, it has transformed itself into a system which allows scroungers like Buchan to live the life of Riley without ever doing a day's work.
And second, because letting them live the life of Riley inside is an insult to each and every one of their victims, many of whose lives were ruined for ever.
She said: "I don't live the life of Riley. I have a modest lifestyle but if they ask for this it would be impossible to pay.
is on mornings, Wild ducks roam free and live the life of Riley.
He managed to disappear, live the life of Riley and get a nice sun tan.
Otherwise, it'll be people with already pressed incomes who will have to fork out more on travel, paying the price for a financial crisis that was caused by a bunch of bankers and their friends, who continue to live the life of Riley.
Did she go on to live the life of Riley? It seems Riley, or Reilly, is a character from an Irish music hall song popular in the early 1900s.
I myself have arthritis in my ankle and knee, and I cannot walk far without difficulty, and I'm certainly not athletic in any shape or form, nor do I live the life of Riley, as he assumes.
Jamie should he congratulated for raising awareness of the suffering of factory farmed animals, but he is seriously misguided if he thinks that British pigs live the life of Riley.
But anyway, isn't it a little disingenuous for Jamie Oliver to tell us we shouldn't buy cheap chicken because he can afford to pay whatever he wants for chickens to live the life of riley before being slaughtered and roasted on a plate.
The truth is that most of us despise scroungers, home-grown or imported, as the No.1 family live the Life of Riley at our expense.
And to be able to give up the day job and live the life of Riley? 'To live in the fast lane you would need around pounds 3.5m wisely invested which should net the lucky family around pounds 2,700 week in week out,' said Mr Phillips.
Why should Native people on reserves work or start businesses when they can live the life of Riley tax-free?
He told The Times: "People need to appreciate that you can't work from 25 to 55 and then live the life of Riley to 95.
"We do realise the BHB requires funding and that owners and the industry require decent prize-money-we are not going to pocket the money and live the life of Riley."