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 ?
We are one of the wealthiest countries in the world, with some living the life of Riley and others surviving on stale crumbs.
"Yeah, I hear he's living the life of Riley out there in Las Vegas, being treated like a king," Goldman said sarcastically.
But what message does it send out to the victims of such crimes to see criminals lapping it up and living the life of Riley? The days of harsh regimes in prison are over - but five-star luxury for cons is not the way to go either.
That said, Karen Page makes a very valid point in her letter: 'If Marie moans that people are talking about her then do not spread your business about to all and sundry in the first place.' Of course, she will not heed Karen's words as Marie Buchan appears to be living the life of riley.
I'M not quite sure what 'living the life of Riley' actually means but I think I've come pretty close swanning around in a car that costs almost PS100,000.
ARE single mothers on benefits living the life of Riley? Or is it more a case of living on the breadline?
I was lying in bed one night and I thought 'There's me living the life of Riley but there are people on the streets.'" ."
Don't get me wrong, I love my hubby and my kids more than anything, but sometimes I look at my mates and think, "You're living the life of Riley." I never think, "They must be lonely."
He's living the life of Riley in an expensive and trendy area of London without having to pay a penny in rent or bills.
Cue eight weeks of fun in the sun, eating ice creams and living the life of Riley. And the kids of today deserve it too - they've finished exams, completed courses and need a break after all that learning.
- Mommy Living the Life of Riley: http://www.mommylivingthelifeofriley.com/
What we do not need is more bloated fat-cats claiming telephone number expense account payments for jawing away about trivia in their ivory tower in Cardiff Bay and living the life of Riley at the taxpayers' expense!
One report by the Intergenerational Foundation shows while young people are having to - gasp - share houses with friends, their parents are out living the life of Riley, entertaining themselves at restaurants, in theatres, buying cars and indulging in holidays.
Mrs Mayes, 67, of Stevenage, added: "We are sort of hoping that James's name is not read out, that it was not on the list, and that perhaps he is living the life of Riley somewhere.