What is the origin of "you made my day"?

1 Answer 1


Etymonline only has a date:

To make (one's) day is from 1909; menacing make my day is from 1971, popularized by Clint Eastwood in film "Sudden Impact" (1983).

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Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

The Phrase Finder has this:

Dirty Harry wasn't the first to use the phrase ["Make my day"] with that meaning ["Carry on with what you are doing — it will give me an excuse to behave badly"] though. It had been spoken earlier by the character Tom Walsh — played by Gary Swanson in the film Vice Squad, 1982. In that film the line was, "Go ahead scumbag, make my day".

Now, none of this actually answers your question, but I've been reprimanded for posting much less informative stuff as comments rather than answers before, so here goes.

  • I hope someone will check the OED, to which I have no access.
    – RegDwigнt
    Commented Mar 5, 2011 at 19:33

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