|happy go lucky
||[May. 3rd, 2008|12:09 am]
Historical Origins of English Words and Phrases
happy go lucky
-In its early life, this phrase was used to describe something that was haphazard or simply left up to chance. Scholars do not have an exact date of origin, but there are records of it being used in England starting at least in the 17th century. For instance, in 1699 CE, there is a recording from Sir Thomas Morgan entitled 'A True and Just Relation of Major General Sir Thomas Morgan's Progress in France and Flanders with the Six English in the Years 1657 and 1658 at the Taking of Dunkirk and Other Important Places' (found in Edward Arber's 1896 An English Garner) that includes the phrase: "The Redcoats cried, 'Shall we fall in order, or go happy-go-lucky?" With its modern sense of 'without any cares, unconcerned,' the phrase was first used in the mid-19th century. One of the first known recordings comes from Herman Melville's famous Moby Dick (1851) in which he writes: "A happy-go-lucky; neither craven nor valiant."