As Happy As A Shoe

When you’re happy, there are various idioms to express this in English, including:

  • as happy as a clam (at high water)
  • as happy as a sandboy
  • as happy as Larry
  • as happy as a lark
  • as happy as a pig in muck/clover
  • as happy as a dog with two tails

Do you know/use any others?

Clams are apparently free from predators at high water, therefore might be thought to be happy. Or, their shape when open looks like they’re smiling

Sandboys were men, and boys, who delivered sand to pubs, homes and other establishments in the 18th and 19th centuries. They had a reputation for being happy perhaps because they were often drunk.

Larry was possibly Larry Foley (1847-1917), an Australian boxer who never lost a fight, or might come from the slang term larrikin, which originated in Cornwall, and ended up in Australia and New Zealand. It refers to a rough type or hooligan who tends to lark around.

cho sona ri bròg (as happy as a shoe)

Idioms meaning you’re happy in Scottish Gaelic are a bit different:

  • cho sona ri bròg = as happy as a shoe
  • cho sona ri luchag an lofa = as happy as the mouse of the loaf
  • cho sona ri bò ann an loch = as happy as a cow in a lake
  • cho sona ris na h-uisegan = as happy as the larks
  • cho sona ri òthaisg = as happy as a one year old ewe
  • cho sona ri crodh an Taoibh Siar = as happy as cattle of the West Side
  • cho sona ri cuthag ann an nead a coimhearsnaich = as happy as a cuckoo in the nest of the neighbour
  • cho sona ris an Rìgh = as happy as the King
  • cho sona ‘s a tha an latha fada = as happy as the day is long

Are there interesting equivalents in other languages?

Sources: The Phrase Finder, Am Faclair Beag

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