the cat that ate the canary

the cat that ate the canary

Someone who is smugly pleased or self-satisfied. After her promotion, Janet spent the rest of the day looking like the cat that ate the canary. Look at those kids with their ice creams—the cats that ate the canaries!
See also: ate, canary, cat, that

the cat that ate the canary

Happy, often in a selfsatisfied way. Someone who was very pleased—and often smug—was compared to a house cat that figured out a way to liberate a pet bird from its cage and enjoy the aftermath.
See also: ate, canary, cat, that
References in periodicals archive ?
They feel like the cat that ate the canary, sitting quietly in the corner hoping no one will notice.
A modest fellow, BP downplays the coup but a glint in the eye reminds one of the cat that ate the canary.