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A.Word.A.Day--life of riley

Pronunciation RealAudio

life of Riley (lyf ov rylee)

A carefree, comfortable life.

[From Riley, a character in one of the many songs popular around the late 1800s and early 1900s.]

"`I got someone mad at me because I referred to Tuxedo Park as the all-day buffet,' said Cornelius J. J. Madera Jr., a real estate developer who is the village mayor, as he drove by clusters of deer grazing along the roadside. `The last several years, they've just been multiplying and there's no natural predators here, so the deer are just living the life of Riley.' Of course, not everyone sees the deer as the problem. Richard Waite, a retired fabric designer, said he quit Tuxedo Park's deer committee after other members insulted him and ignored his pleas to spare the deer. `I was the only one out of the whole group that had any sanity about animal life,' said Mr. Waite, who is one of several residents suing the village to block the culling program." Winnie Hu, Homeowners Are Manning Backyard Battle Stations, The New York Times, Oct 26, 2000.

This week's theme: words derived from fictional characters.


Ordering a man to write a poem is like commanding a pregnant woman to give birth to a red-headed child. -Carl Sandburg, poet and biographer (1878-1967)

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