English Makes You as Happy as Larry

Vocabulary

Today’s post is about similes, which describe something by comparing it to something else, often unrelated. The ones I’ll show you in this post are quite clichéd (overused) but you’ll hear native speakers use them from time to time.

  • Happy as Larry
  • Nobody knows who Larry is or why he’s happy; it’s just a fixed expression.

    He’s as happy as Larry since he passed his driving test.

      Happy as a pig in shit
  • Sick as a dog/parrot
  • Fit as a butcher’s dog
  • Butcher’s dogs get lots of meat.

      Fit as a fiddle

    This makes no sense; it’s alliterative (uses the same letter and/or sound for poetic effect).

    Six months to live? I feel as fit as a fiddle. There must be a mistake.

  • Drunk as a skunk
  • This rhymes. There is no other reason.

  • Pissed as a newt
  • This is swearing. Nobody knows why newts get drunk, either. (‘Pissed’ here is British, meaning ‘drunk’ not American for ‘angry’).

    Dave was as pissed as a newt at the office party. It was a bit embarrassing

  • Strong as an ox
  • An ox is a very strong cow.

  • Weak as a kitten
  • Easy as pie
  • this makes no sense to me because I can’t cook well.

    English is as easy as pie.

  • Nice as pie
  • I do like to eat, so this makes perfect sense.

  • Pretty as a picture
  • My wife’s as pretty as a picture!

  • High as a kite
  • This can mean either:

    1. Very excited
    2. The kids have a day off school tomorrow so they’re as high as kites.

    3. Under the influence of drugs
    4. The police arrested a man who was driving while he was as high as a kite.