I heard the saying, "life of Riley" when someone was talking about my cat, and I wondered what the origin of the expression is. The only thing I can think of is that it comes from the name of someone who was pampered and lazy, a king for example.
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closed as general reference by Kris, kiamlaluno, Robusto, Daniel, Matt E. Эллен♦ Apr 28 '12 at 17:09
This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.
Etymological note from the entry on Riley in the online Oxford English Dictionary