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 one'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

the more the merrier

More people will make something more enjoyable. This set phrase is 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

merry as the day is long

old-fashioned Jubilant; especially carefree, lively, and full of fun. Tom is playing outside, merry as the day is long. Though he acts as merry as the day is long, he is dreadfully unhappy when he is all alone.
See also: long, merry

merry as a cricket

old-fashioned Jubilant; especially carefree, lively, and full of fun. Tom is playing outside, merry as a cricket. Though he acts as merry as a cricket, he is dreadfully unhappy when he is all alone.
See also: cricket, merry

merry as a grig

old-fashioned Jubilant; especially carefree, lively, and full of fun. Tom is playing outside, merry as a grig. Though he acts as merry as a grig, he is dreadfully unhappy when he is all alone.
See also: merry

lead (one) (on) a (merry) chase

To waste one'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 a chase for three weeks! If someone in whom you are uninterested is pursuing you romantically, do not lead them on a merry chase—make your feelings clear from the get go.
See also: chase, lead

make merry

To joke, play, or be happy; to have a fun, enjoyable time. The best part of our wedding, apart from the actual ceremony of course, was seeing so many of our various friends and family making merry all through the night with each other.
See also: make, merry

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, someone

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 periodicals archive ?
But single mum Merrily (her philandering ex-husband was killed in a car crash), doesn't exactly have her 16-year-old daughter Jane on board with her latest interest in the paranormal.
Nonetheless, the local police must be slightly less sceptical, as they call on Merrily for advice in the investigation of a rather grisly murder.
In the series, also starring David Threlfall as Merrily's mentor Rev Huw Owen and Sally Messham as her daughter Jane, Merrily has barely started in her new role when police ask her to solve a baffling and gruesome murder that is linked to satanists.
Honking their noses and flopping down the street in giant shoes, some 200 clowns have marched merrily through Mexico City on Wednesday (December 15) in a parade honouring the country's patron saint, the Virgin of Guadalupe.
One man, Joe, of Irish descent, who normally never talked to his 'Paki' neighbours, was found in the home of the Indian family opposite merrily drinking tea.
Then I breathed in, spluttered and saw one of the old-shop regulars puffing away merrily in a spreading pall of ciggie smoke, in full view of the seemingly indifferent staff.
We spotted Kate Moss merrily mooching around London's Notting Hill with Mother Moss, enjoying a rare last moment of sunshine - until Jude Law popped out of nowhere.
A child's mind is like a shallow brook which ripples and dances merrily over the stony course of its education and reflects here a flower, there a bush, yonder a fleecy cloud .
The Fontana di Piaggio, 1993--a fountain stowed away in the back of a three-wheeled van--was there, bubbling away merrily outdoors.
Chesterton's Father Brown, who appeared in 1910, to Ellis Peter's Brother Cadfael and Phil Rickman's the Reverend Merrily Watkins, the procession of godly gumshoes continues unabated.
English speakers merrily accept words like decoltage, culottes and brassiere, but L'Academie Francaise has waged a 12-year war on English.
Here are some of my additional unofficial honours; personal choices for various Quebec film and video types, in no particular order: Most Worthy Resutrection of an Unsung Hero: Merrily Weisbord and Tanya Ballantine Tree deserve serious kudos for their Ted Allan: Minstrel Boy of the 20th Century, an in-depth look at the superb left-wing novelist and screenwriter Allan.
It's also not uncommon for the tidal floods to overwhelm the raised planks, leaving the many tables and chairs from restaurants and bars on the Piazza San Marco and elsewhere in the city floating merrily or not-so-merrily hither and yon.
So, of course, quite soon "classic" became a term for cute little girls twirling merrily on their tippy-toes, hiked around by elegant young men, while "modern" suggested barefoot matrons fiercely looking back in angst and kicking up dust over their sweating partners.
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