Happy as a Clam

Also:

Happy as a clam at high tide
Happy as a clam at full tide
Happy as a clam in the mud
Happy as a cleam in the mud at high tide

Meaning Of Idiom ‘Happy as a Clam’

To be happy as a clam means to be very happy, cheerful, glad, etc. 1Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.,2Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.3Bengelsdorf, Peter. Idioms in the News – 1,000 Phrases, Real Examples]. N.p.: Amz Digital Services, 2012.

Usage

This idiom is usually situational, used when a person is happy to be doing a certain thing or to be in a certain situation. It is especially used when a person is happy due to being free from distraction, bother, or burden.

Examples Of Use

“My husband will putter around in his workshop all day, happy as a clam if I don’t get him to stop.”

“How is Billy? He was crying when I left.” “Billy’s fine. He’s digging in the yard with your spoons, happy as a clam.”

“The first day I spent on board a ship I was happy as a clam at high tide. The next day, a big storm came in!”

Origin

Used since the early 1800s, this idiom probably began as one of the longer alternatives “happy as a clam at high tide” or “happy as a clam in mud.” Presumably, this alludes to the fact that clams cannot be dug up and eaten when the tide is high, and thus are safe and happy. Digging into the mud, as well, is a clam’s primary defense, thus being in the mude should make a clam happy if clams were able to feel happiness. 4Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.,5Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.6Bengelsdorf, Peter. Idioms in the News – 1,000 Phrases, Real Examples]. N.p.: Amz Digital Services, 2012.

More Idioms Starting with H

More Clam Idioms

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Sources   [ + ]

1, 4. Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.
2, 5. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
3, 6. Bengelsdorf, Peter. Idioms in the News – 1,000 Phrases, Real Examples]. N.p.: Amz Digital Services, 2012.