beer and skittles, (life is) not all

(redirected from not all beer and skittles)

(all) beer and skittles

all fun and pleasure; easy and pleasant. (Skittles is the game of ninepins, a game similar to bowling. Fixed phrase.) For Sam, college was beer and skittles. He wasted a lot of time and money.
See also: and, beer, skittle

beer and skittles

amusement. British
This phrase comes from the proverb life isn't all beer and skittles . The game of skittles is used as a prime example of a form of light-hearted entertainment.
See also: and, beer, skittle

beer and skittles

(...ˈskɪdlæz)
n. something very easy to do; an easy time of it. Did you think life was all beer and skittles?
See also: and, beer, skittle

beer and skittles, (life is) not all

Life is not all fun and games. Skittles, a kind of bowling game played by throwing wooden disks at pins, was very popular in Great Britain, where drinking beer remains a widespread form of recreation. Pairing the two came about quite naturally in the nineteenth century. Dickens’s Sam Weller assures Mr. Pickwick, who is about to enter a debtor’s prison, that the prisoners enjoy themselves there: “It’s a regular holiday to them—all porter and skittles” (Pickwick Papers). But Dickens’s contemporary Thomas Hughes observed that “Life isn’t all beer and skittles” (Tom Brown’s School Days). Essentially a British cliché, it spread to America but is heard less often today. Legendary adman David Ogilvy had it in Confessions of an Advertising Man (1963): “Managing an advertising agency is not all beer and skittles.”
See also: all, and, beer, not