The More the Merrier

Meanings of “The More the Merrier”

The phrase “the more the merrier” refers to a positive and happy expression. The phrase is also used to welcome someone to join an activity or group. It implies that the more the number of people, whether friends or family, are present at a party or gathering, the better and happier it is.

Origin of “The More the Merrier”

The phrase “the more the merrier” was first sighted in John Heywood’s glossary, A Dialogue, a dictionary of proverbs published in 1546. The expression was used as;

“Haue among you blynde harpers (sayd I.)
The mo the merier.”

Later, it was transformed into “the more the merrier” in standardized spellings.

Examples in Literature

Example #1

The More The Merrier by Gajanan Mishra

How can I say
The more the merrier?
Here I know
My desire grows
In the cloudy sky
And my hunger
And thirst as before.

The author speaks about the ill-fated speaker who wants to enjoy the company of people, but his circumstances do not allow him. The poverty-ridden speaker cannot even say that the more the merrier because the sad reality stands in his way, making him forget the merriment and enjoyment of more people. In other words, the speaker makes us think about the poor people that they live from hand to mouth and cannot enjoy even the little pleasures of life. The phrase has been used as a rhetorical question. A rhetorical question is a question that is not asked in order to receive an answer; it is just posed for clarification.

Example #2

The More the Merrier by William Wallace

Twos a couple.
Threes a crowd.
Fours a foursome.
Five, well anything goes.
Six can I join in as well.

In this short poem, the poet narrates how bringing more people together brings fun in life. The poet brilliantly differentiates between the couple and the crowd. He says that two make a couple, three make a crowd, and four make a foursome. In short, the more people there are, the more fun it will be. Keeping the merriment and joy in mind, the speaker also asks to join the company of people. The phrase has been used as an extended metaphor of fun and happiness in this poem.

Example #3

The More the Merrier by Fiddler’s Green 

“The more I get, the more I give
The more I sleep, the more I snore
The more I drink, the more I sway
Never trust the liquor store
The more I run, the more I’m done
The more I sing, the more I swing
The more I eat, the more I’m full
I hate those chicken wings
The more the merrier, that’s our aim
And we’re all gonna reach it
We set the sail, we’re on the way
And finally we’ll reach it
The more, the merrier
The more I fly, the more I’m high
The more I come, the more I’m here
The more I see, the more I squint
Against the glowing sun, my dear..”

The speaker in these lines says that the more he gets something out of life, the more he loves his life. He seems all set to enjoy every moment of life with his friends. In other words, the speaker wants us to realize that even little things can bring joy to our life. To live a life of wonder, one must find happiness even in the slightest things. Although used only once in the middle of these lines, the phrase not only turns the whole structure of the lyric but also makes it as if the phrase is reverberating through every line.

Example #4

The More the Merrier by Anne Fine

The story revolves around the joyous Christmas, a time when friends and families celebrate together. In Ralph’s case, ten relatives are coming to share their happiness, including assorted uncles and aunts, Aunt Ada, and his naughty cousins. However, instead of having fun and merriment, the family faces a lot of problems, leading to a conclusion that the more does not always mean the merrier. The phrase has been used as an irony as well as a metaphor for the trouble the family faces.

Example in Sentences

Example #1: “I asked Mary if I could bring my best friends to her birthday party and she was more than glad to oblige. It looked like she believed that the more the merrier.”

Example #2: “Betty was about her parents going on a business trip. Saddened, she asked Emma if she could join their picnic the next day. Emma was overjoyed. Emma had 9 people coming and she felt that when it came to picnics, the more the merrier!”

Example #3: “Our teacher Ms. Betty arranged us into groups for the upcoming drama club celebrations. She asked some of us to bring our families too, as the more the merrier.”

Example #4: “The newly established company was trying its best to provide satisfactory services to the customers. It badly needed to increase its customer list, as the owner believed that the more the merrier.”

Example #5: “Although Kim is a highly professional man who spends most of his time at his workplace, yet when it comes to social life, he believes the more the merrier.”