Where Does The Phrase “Life of Riley” Come From?

LBC Studio


I've always heard the phrase "life of Riley" and I wanted to know, where does that come from?

Mark, Hyde Park 



Name: Andrew, Greenwich 

Qualification: Heard it someone once

Answer: It goes back to the 1900’s, Sydney Riley was a character in a lot of musical songs. He was a man who comes into some money from the song by Pat Rooney that was popular in America in the 1880’s.


Name: Jamie, Peckham

Qualification: Didn’t know it was spelled Riley 

I think it comes from Walter Raleigh, he was having an affair with Queen Elizabeth and he committed crimes and was left off because of his relationship with the queen.  


Name: Peter, Willingham 

Qualification: Might have heard it 

Life of Riley phrase comes from a double agent for the allies and for the enemy, I can’t remember his first name but I think it was riley. 

James: You are flat out wrong. 

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