Sunday, 13 January 2008

Happy as Larry.

Digg this

An almost entirely sleepless night cannot mean anything except that I have got my baby home at last.

I am going to go and look into building a bed for the eldest, but you may rest assured that I weigh 194.6lbs.

I am having a poo

I weigh 192.6lbs and am happy as Larry.

Before you ask "Who was Larry and what was he so happy about anyway?", Larry was not a man. There are those who attribute the phrase to the successes of Australian boxer Larry Foley (who was retiring, undefeated, at about the time that G. L. Meredith, penned the first known instance of the phrase), but most evidence points to a further afield source for the predominantly Australasian phrase.

It relates to the Cornish and later New Zealand word for a hooligan or roughian, larrikin, a term which Meredith would certainly have been familiar with.

In 1868 H. W. Harper's Letters from New Zealand include the word larrikins, and is dated similarly to Meredith's coining of the phrase.

So either the New Zealanders bastardised the kernow word larrikin, or - more likely - the Cornish did so, but did not deign to record it, kernow being, at the time, an almost entirely rural and mining province.

So there.

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