Favorite

But they couldn’t see the grove for the trees:

“To say it was insane would be an understatement. It was a circus built and constructed by the media and the fans flocked in groves to witness.”

From Sarita Riley:

“Lately, I can’t seem to go a day without hearing the phrase ‘Living the life of Riley’ or ‘Living the life of Raleigh.’ I had never heard this before. Everyone who says it thinks it means that they are either living outside of their means or living the high life. Where did this phrase come from and is it ‘Riley’ or ‘Raleigh’? ”

I’ve never seen it written as “life of Raleigh,” and if I’ve ever heard it that way, I didn’t know it. Life of Riley — “the good life, the prosperous life” — is correct. Since we’re not 100 percent sure of the origin, Sarita can claim that the original Riley was one of her ancestors, if she likes. “Listening to America” by Stuart Berg Flexner offers the only explanation that I know of — “This expression was first popular around 1910 but probably comes from Pat Rooney’s 1883 comic song Is That Mr. Reilly?, which tells what Mr. Reilly would do if he suddenly became rich, such as sleeping in the president’s chair, owning hotels, etc.” If Flexner’s theory is correct, somewhere along the line Reilly became the easier-to-spell Riley.That’s how it was when “The Life of Riley” TV show, starring William Bendix, came along in the ’50s.

The life of Sir Walter Raleigh, 16th-century English soldier, explorer and man of letters, was not as prosperous as he would have liked — his expeditions in search of gold didn’t pan out — but it was exciting, right up to the time he was executed by hanging, which was probably more excitement than he could enjoy.

Deborah Kirby says she saw this in a publication for librarians — “I came within a hare’s breath of ordering a much-needed video … ” The correct form is hairsbreadth — a very small space or distance, the width of a hair. A hare’s breath is carroty, I’ve heard, but not so bad if they floss.

Favorite
  |  

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Doug Smith

  • The L word and the C word

    I was excited to see the newspaper headline "Bielema liberal." "After all those neo-Nazis, we've finally got a coach who thinks right," I told friends. "I wonder if he belongs to the ADA."
    • May 1, 2014
  • Who's exasperated?

    Jim Newell was gripped by exasperation himself after reading this item in the business section. "Exacerbated" is the word the writer wanted, he sagely suggests.
    • Apr 24, 2014
  • We will run no race before it's ripe

    "What year would Oaklawn recognize as its 100th anniversary? After all, Oaklawn's advertising material is ripe with 'Since 1904,' but it's widely reported the first race wasn't run until 1905."
    • Apr 17, 2014
  • More »

More by Max Brantley

  • Gunfire reported at downtown hotel

    Guests at the Marriott Hotel downtown reported hearing multiple gunshots about 9:30 p.m. Saturday night, but, at last report on KTHV, police had found no evidence that anyone was hurt.
    • Feb 19, 2017
  • Trump ventures into fake news as he decries it

    President Donald Trump continued his attack on the media at a rally in Florida Saturday, but his own reporting of facts continued to be fractured, with reference to a non-existent incident in Sweden.
    • Feb 19, 2017
  • More objections to the bathroom bill from Buffalo River businessman

    A tourism operator in the district of a senator who's sponsored a "bathroom bill" to discourage transgender use of public facilities has joined those objecting to the legislation as damaging to business.
    • Feb 19, 2017
  • More »

Most Shared

  • "Nasty Woman" at HSU: 32 artists celebrate Women's History Month

    A photograph of a woman doing a headstand so you can see her red underpants. A sculpture by Robyn Horn titled "Approaching Collapse." Those and other works that assistant professor of photography Margo Duvall says "celebrates the female voice in art" for Women's History Month go on exhibit March 1 in the gallery in the Russell Fine Arts Building.
  • Home again

    The plan, formulated months ago, was this: Ellen and I were going to go to Washington for inauguration festivities, then fly out the morning after the balls for Panama City and a long planned cruise to begin with a Panama Canal passage.
  • Who needs courts?

    Not since the John Birch Society's "Impeach Earl Warren" billboards littered Southern roadsides after the Supreme Court's school-integration decision in 1954 has the American judicial system been under such siege, but who would have thought the trifling Arkansas legislature would lead the charge?
  • Bungling

    If the late, great Donald Westlake had written spy thrillers instead of crime capers, they'd read a lot like the opening weeks of the Trump administration.
  • UPDATE: Campus carry bill amended by Senate to require training

    The Senate this morning added an amendment to Rep. Charlie Collins campus carry bill that incorporates the effort denied in committee yesterday to require a 16-hour additional training period before university staff members with concealed carry permits may take the weapons on campus.

Latest in Words

  • The L word and the C word

    I was excited to see the newspaper headline "Bielema liberal." "After all those neo-Nazis, we've finally got a coach who thinks right," I told friends. "I wonder if he belongs to the ADA."
    • May 1, 2014
  • Who's exasperated?

    Jim Newell was gripped by exasperation himself after reading this item in the business section. "Exacerbated" is the word the writer wanted, he sagely suggests.
    • Apr 24, 2014
  • We will run no race before it's ripe

    "What year would Oaklawn recognize as its 100th anniversary? After all, Oaklawn's advertising material is ripe with 'Since 1904,' but it's widely reported the first race wasn't run until 1905."
    • Apr 17, 2014
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

New Crystal Bridges exhibit explores Mexican-American border

New Crystal Bridges exhibit explores Mexican-American border

Border Cantos is a timely, new and free exhibit now on view at Crystal Bridges.

Event Calendar

« »

February

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Future is female

    • Good article. I think you are right about running a new type of candidate, with…

    • on February 17, 2017
  • Re: Bungling

    • When did liberals and so called progressives start hating on old Russia? In the the…

    • on February 17, 2017
  • Re: Bungling

    • Press conference? Is that what that was? I thought I'd had the misfortune of stumbling…

    • on February 17, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation