“Life of Riley” Meaning | What Does This Interesting Idiom Mean?

The term ‘life of Riley’ may be heard regularly during English conversations. But what does this saying mean? We are going to take a look at the answer to this question and also find out a little bit about the history of the phrase. We are also going to look at how we can use this term in a conversation.

Life of Riley

“Life of Riley” Meaning

When someone refers to a ‘life of Riley’ they are referring to a comfortable, happy life which is filled with luxuries and benefits.

Origin of this idiom

The term ‘life of Riley’ comes originally from a song from the late 1800s entitled ‘IS that Mr Reilly?’ The song is about a man talking about what he would do if he were to suddenly have a lot of money.

“Life of Riley” Examples

Examples in Statements

This is a statement made by someone who has just won the lottery.

  • ‘I am living a life of Riley after my lottery win.’

Here is a statement made by a TV reporter.

  • ‘Many celebrities live a life of Riley and do not have to give a second thought as to where their next meal is coming from.’

Other examples:

  • I’m going to live the life of Riley now that I’ve won all this money.
  • He spends all day lounging by the pool and living the life of Riley.
  • I hear that all the older boys are driving big expensive cars and living the life of Riley.

Conversation Examples

If you are curious as to how the term ‘life of Riley’ can fit into a conversation, here are some examples to show how it can work.

The first conversation is taking place between two friends.

  • Person 1: “I have seen that Mary married that Millionaire.”
  • Person 2: “Did she? I bet she is living a life of Riley now.”

This next conversation is happening between two co-workers.

  • Person 1: “They pay isn’t very good here, is it?”
  • Person 2: “No, it isn’t when you first start but if you can work your way up then there is serious money to be made.”
  • Person 1: “I will gladly work my way up.”
  • Person 2: “You should, some of the top people are really living the life of Riley with all the money and company benefits that they get.”

Other Ways to Say the Phrase

There are many other ways in which you can get across the same meaning as the term ‘life of Riley.’

Here are some examples of other things you could say.

  • The good life
  • Care free life
  • Comfortable life
  • Enjoyable life
  • Life of great luxury
  • Carefree prosperity

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Last Updated on December 19, 2020

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