question time

Phrase >>> As happy as Larry

My question >>> Who the heck is Larry and why is he so happy?


  1. Good question.

    ...and why, if someone is losing their temper/sense of calm etc are they 'carrying on like a pork chop'?

  2. I always thought Larry was one of the Three Stooges :-)

  3. The full pork chop expression is - like many old anglo/australian sayings, politically incorrect.
    [Which is not to say the version I know is the correct version]:
    "he was carrying on like a pork chop in a synagogue".

    Can't wait to find out who Larry is. Hope he's not one of those happy people who whistle endlessly.

  4. I don't know who Larry is but "Bob's your uncle" and "for Pete's sake".

  5. I love looking into the origin of phrases like that. Some have explanations and some don't. Language is funny!

    I'm very glad Larry was happy though. I'll have what he's having.

  6. The phrase is most likely to be of Australian or New Zealand origin. The earliest printed reference currently known is from the New Zealand writer G. L. Meredith, dating from around 1875:

    "We would be as happy as Larry if it were not for the rats".

    It has been suggested that Larry refers to the Australian boxer Larry Foley (1847 - 1917). Foley was a successful pugilist who never lost a fight. He retired at 32 and collected a purse of £1,000 for his final fight. So, we can expect that he was known to be happy with his lot in the 1870s - just when the phrase is first cited.

  7. 'For Pete's sake' is euphemisms for 'For God's/christ's sake'.

    Most likely it is a reference to the catholic Saint Peter."

  8. Kath Lockett; and when things turn out well, we're "right as rain".

    Windsmoke; I don't believe those three stooges were at all happy, always getting poked in the eyes and bopped on the head...

    FruitCake; I remember that about the pork chop. I also hope Larry isn't a whistler. I find that annoying.

    Delores; "bob's your uncle" lives on in Australia, but "for Pete's sake" has been taken over by "for f**** sake". My kids do actually have an Uncle Bob, although he goes by Robert.

    Sarah; I'd like a bit of what Larry's having too.

    drb; well, now we know who Larry was and for a thousand pounds back in those days, he certainly would have been happy.

  9. Oh dear. My (non practising) Jewish father OFTEN used the expression carrying on like a pork chop.


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