Dr. Goodword’s Language Blog

What Makes Clams Happy?

Happy as a clam means “extremely happy”. Have you ever thought about this phrase. What makes a bivalve mollusk happy, anyway?

The reason this phrase seems nonsensical is that part of it has fallen away. The original phrase was “happy as a clam at high tide”, that is, when the high tide makes the critters safe from beachcombers.

Knowing this makes me happy as a clam at high tide.

2 Responses to “What Makes Clams Happy?”

  1. Pat Tietzen Says:

    Thank Heaven! I’m not the only one who remembers the ‘last phrase’ that everyone else has forgotten! In my lifetime (a LONG one!) I seemed to be the only one who knew it! 🙂

  2. RobinGoodfellow Says:

    My grandmother used to say, “Happy as a dead pig in the sunshine.”

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