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The History of Happy

The History of Happy by Sonny Melendrez

As long as beings have been human, the idea of being happy has both eluded and delighted those in pursuit.

Perhaps, exploring the origin of the word, will better help us to know how to find it!

In the late 14th century the word, “hap” (from the Norse “happ”) was used to describe someone who had luck, was favored by fortune or had advantageous circumstances and events that turned out well.

Then, around the 1520’s, folks used the word to mean greatly pleased and content.

In fact, the majority of European words for “happy”at first meant lucky, with the exception of Welsh, where word meant wise.

Variations of “happy” continued:

  • Happy Medium – “the golden mean”, is recorded in 1702;
  • Happy Ending, in the literary sense, appears in 1756;
  • Happy As A Clam, in the 1630’s, was originally “happy as a clam in the mud at high tide,” when it can’t be dug up and eaten;
  • Happy Day was first used to describe a wedding day in 1739;
  • In June 1913, the crew of the USS Arkansas had started referring to their regularly scheduled periods of entertainment, which included boxing and wrestling matches, music, dancing and movies, as Happy Hours. (This term, as we know it in today’s bars, can be traced back to the 1950’s).

So, there you have it, The History of Happy.

When all is said and done, no matter your meaning for the circumstance, event or feeling, maybe, just maybe, to be happy is, to be happy, to be.