As Happy As Larry

Meaning of “As Happy as Larry”

The phrase “as happy as Larry” means a very happy person. The phrase is most suitable for the person who always remains happy, laughs a lot even when the things are not in their favor. Also, the phrase is used as a simile to compare a person’s happiness.

Origin of “As Happy as Larry”

The phrase “as happy as Larry” originated from a character’s name, Larry. It was first used in a printed version by G. L. Meredith, a Kiwi in 1875. The first person here is plural and the phrase is used in its original form, “We would be as happy as Larry.”  Another use has been found in Barrier Truth, a book written by a popular Australian, Tom Collins in 1903, “I was as happy as Larry.” While the name Larry has been a famous simile, there are two possible inspirations for the name and the phrase. Firstly, the word might have been derived from “larrikin”, a slang used in Australia for a person who is either careless or causes trouble. The second option might have been derived from the name of Larry Foley (1847-1917), an Australian boxer, who had never lost a fight.

Examples in Literature

Example #1

Happy As Larry by Kate O’Neil

Let’s hear it for Larry.
He’s made his mark so long.
When did he start to be happy?
Has he been like that all along?

Let’s sing a song for Larry.
Larry deserves a cheer.
He must hold some sort of record.
Buy the man a beer!

Does Larry ever wonder
why he’s always glad?
There’s something I want to ask Larry:
Does he ever want to be sad?

The poem is about ‘Larry’ who is always cheerful. The poet wonders about his personality and wants to get to know him. The poet wants to take Larry for a drink to know his secret of happiness. He wants to ask Larry ‘Does he want to be sad?’ The phrase is used to narrate the life of Larry, who is a happy person. It is common to wonder about a person who is always positive.

Example #2

As Happy as Larry by Kathy Park

This is the story of a Kathy Park with her husband Larry, an Australian. Kathy and Larry chose to live an unconventional life because they loved to travel. They traveled for five years to the most remote places in Australia. They successfully built the farmyard. Later, they soon purchased the Kiwi Valley Farm park where they worked hard and built a huge business. This book shares the lifestyle of a family and their secret to their happiness. She named the book after her husband, Larry. Larry and Kathy remained positive and happy in spite of the challenges they faced.

Example #3

Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations by Ava Gardner, Peter Evans

 “Fortunately, it slipped by the Production Code people. They were very hot on what they regarded as lustful kissing in those days. But John Huston spotted it. He said it was the scene that got me the role in The Killers, my breakthrough movie as they call it today. It made me realize you didn’t have to be an actress to sell tickets at the box office!

“I was still as happy as Larry travelling with the band, hanging out with Artie and his literary pals. Guys like Sid Perelman, Bill Saroyan, Joh O’Hara. They were all bright and funny interesting guys.

This paragraph is taken from the autobiography of Ava Gardner, one of the glamorous stars in Hollywood during 1950s. In the book, she narrated her ordeals and happy moments during the production of movies. She used the phrase to demonstrate her happiness when she traveled with her band in the valley. While talking about the past difficulties she faced in the film industry, she used the phrase ‘as happy as Larry’ to express her positive approach to life.

Examples in Sentences

Example #1: “Look at Jonah bubbling and jumping as soon as I gave him a new truck. His Uncle Ray said that he is as happy as Larry.”

Example #2: “A soldier goes through much ordeals protecting the civilians. Even after the battles, you will find them as happy as Larry.”

Example #3: “John is as happy as Larry, and his juniors are making fun of him. Sometimes the person must get serious if he has a group of people under him.”

Example #4: “Jessica declared that she is as happy as Larry after leaving the fashion industry. Now she doesn’t have to do a crash diet.”

Example #5: “Annie noticed her brother laughing at himself while standing in front of the mirror. He told her that he is as happy as Larry because he found an old treasure.”