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Author Topic: who's Larry?  (Read 2124 times)

Offline Hadrian

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who's Larry?
« on: 04/05/2006 19:47:35 »

All my life I being hearing the frase “Happy as Larry” who is he? What’s the story?
:)


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Offline neilep

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Re: who's Larry?
« Reply #1 on: 04/05/2006 19:57:21 »
Ta daaa !!

This question calls for one of those ' blatant copy and paste ' moments !!



[Q] “Who is Larry and why is he happy?”

[A] A neat question, but American readers in particular will need some background before I can address it. The phrase happy as Larry seems to have originated as either Australian or New Zealand slang sometime before 1875. This date is earlier than that given in most dictionaries, but H W Orsman, editor of the Oxford Dictionary of New Zealand English, has traced it to a New Zealand writer named G L Meredith, who wrote in about 1875: “We would be as happy as Larry if it were not for the rats”. Unlike other odd phrases—the Australian happy as a boxing kangaroo in fog time and the New Zealand happy as a sick eel on a sandspit come to mind—it was meant positively: extremely happy or content.

There’s a suggestion that it comes from the name of the nineteenth-century Australian boxer Larry Foley (1847-1917), though why he was especially happy nobody now seems able to say. Perhaps he won a lot of contests? (He was certainly one of those who originated gloved boxing rather than bare-knuckle fighting in Australia and his name is still remembered there.) But this origin is far from certain and the early New Zealand reference renders it less so, without ruling it out altogether.

Dr Orsman’s suggestion is that it is more likely to come from an English dialect source, larrie, joking, jesting, a practical joke. Another possible link is with the Australian and New Zealand term larrikin for a street rowdy or young urban hooligan, recorded from the late 1860s but known especially in both countries from the 1880s onwards in reference to a specific subculture. Like other groups before and since, the larrikins had their own dress style, in their case very neat and rather severe. The word may well have come from English dialect larrikin for a mischievous youth, once common in Warwickshire and Worcestershire, which itself is closely related to larrie. Either of these sources could afterwards have been reinforced through a supposed connection with Larry Foley.


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Offline Hadrian

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Re: who's Larry?
« Reply #2 on: 04/05/2006 20:01:52 »

I wish you had not told me. I think I make up a better version!
 




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Offline neilep

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Re: who's Larry?
« Reply #3 on: 04/05/2006 20:17:37 »
Sorry about that…lets hear your version then ……oooops....you just have !!...



Men are the same as women, just inside out !
« Last Edit: 04/05/2006 20:18:47 by neilep »
 

Offline Hadrian

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Re: who's Larry?
« Reply #4 on: 04/05/2006 20:20:10 »

In 1762  a beggar called Larry  was sentenced to hang for shoplifting in Asda. It happened the sentence was to be carried out on February the 29th. Now while waiting to be taken up to be hanged he was told a particularly dirty joke involving a pigeon, a bunch of celery and chorus line. Larry was not the quickest of people but he got this joke just as climbed the scaffold. As it happened Larry had a very infectious laugh and so soon everyone was laughing. With tears rolling down his checks the hangman pulled the leaver.

Since then anyone doomed to a sticky end without the wits to know it is said to be happy as Larry.    

 




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Re: who's Larry?
« Reply #4 on: 04/05/2006 20:20:10 »

 

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