life-riley

life of Riley

noun Informal.
a carefree, comfortable, and thoroughly enjoyable way of living: Since winning the lottery, he's led the life of Riley.

Origin:
1920–25; perhaps after the Reilly mentioned in various songs popular around 1900, as “The Best of the House Is None Too Good for Reilly”

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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

life of Riley definition


A life of luxury: “Sheila found herself living the life of Riley after she won the lottery.” The expression comes from a popular song of the 1880s, “Is That Mr. Reilly?”, in which the title character describes what he would do if he suddenly became wealthy.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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