Happy as a Clam

Meaning

What does Happy as a Clam mean?

Happy as a clam is an idiomatic phrase, used to refer to someone content, without anything to inhibit their joy.

The full form of the expression goes as “happy as a clam at high tide” rooting in the fact that clams are the safest during a high tide, as they are the most protected from predators at that time.

Origin

What's the origin of Happy as a Clam?

“Happy as a clam” originates from the north-eastern United States, in the early 1800’s.

One of the first citations of the phrase appeared in the 1833 frontier memoir, titled “A Harpe’s Head – A Legend of Kentucky”.

Spread & Usage

How did Happy as a Clam spread?

The expression started spreading already in the 19th century, emerging in a variety of sources in the US by the 1840’s.

The 20th century saw the phrase becoming a globally recognized expression.

“Happy as a clam” was first defined on Urban Dictionary in 2007.

External resources

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