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af•flu•ence(ˈæf lu əns or, sometimes, əˈflu-)
(see also PROSPERING
beggar on horseback An upstart, nouveau riche, or parvenu; one who goes from rags to riches overnight. Various expressions incorporating this phrase have been cited as its source. The earliest is attributed to Robert Greene, a contemporary of Shakespeare’s. In Richard Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy (1621) appears the line
Set a beggar on horseback and he will ride a gallop.
Cited in Bartlett is Bohn: Foreign Proverbs (German):
Set a beggar on horseback and he’ll outride the Devil.
And, finally, there is the folk proverb, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” All seemed to have influenced the meanings of this expression.
eat high off the hog To be in a prosperous, luxurious situation, able to eat the best food and to indulge one’s extravagant tastes; to live a life of material comfort. This U.S. expression is said to derive from the fact that choice cuts of meat come from high up on a hog’s side. Eat or live high off the hog dates from the early 1900s.
I have to do my shopping in the black market because we can’t eat as high off the hog as Roosevelt and Ickes and Joe Davis and all those millionaire friends of the common man. (Call-Bulletin, May 27, 1946)
fat cat See PERSONAGE.
full-bagged Rich, wealthy, affluent. The allusion is to the full moneybags of a rich man. The term, now obsolete, appeared in John Taylor’s Works (1630):
No full bag’d man would ever durst have entered.
in clover Enjoying success and living in luxury; in luck; prosperous; well-off. Used figuratively as early as 1710, in clover alludes to the best pasturage known for cattle—fields of clover.
the Midas touch See ABILITY.
moneybags A rich person; a nabob. This popular expression of obvious origin is used throughout the English-speaking world.
Though squarsons and squires, landlords and moneybags leagued together against me, I was returned by a majority of 34. (Joseph Arch, Story of His Life, 1898)
money to burn Excessive wealth; money to spare; more than sufficient financial assets. This expression implies a large fortune which, if partially destroyed, would still be extraordinary. The phrase is frequently heard in the United States and Great Britain.
People in the States have “money to burn.” (Sunday Express, May, 1928)
on Easy Street Living a life of financial independence; enjoying a comfortable, prosperous life style. This expression first appeared in George V. Hobart’s It’s Up to You (1902) which tells of a young man “who could walk up and down Easy Street.”
piss on ice To live luxuriously; to live high off the hog; to be wealthy, successful, or lucky. It was once the custom in posh restaurants to place a cake of ice in the urinals of men’s rooms. Thus, this expression implies that the only men who urinated on ice were those wealthy enough to patronize these exclusive and expensive dining establishments.
ride the gravy train To become prosperous, to have much success or luck in acquiring wealth; to partake of the good life, to live high off the hog. Dating from the turn of the century, gravy refers to money or profits easily and sometimes illegally acquired. A gravy train or boat is a situation or position which offers the advantages necessary for putting prosperity and fortune within easy reach. To board or ride the gravy train is to take advantage of such a situation, to go for a free ride. This U.S. slang expression dates from the 1920s.
They is on the gravy train and don’t know it, but they is headed straight for ’struction and perdition. (Botkin, My Burden, 1945)
sugar daddy A wealthy man, usually middle-aged or elderly, who spends freely on a young woman, providing material luxuries in exchange for companionship and sex. Sugar is a slang term for money. The expression was popular in the middle of the 20th century, especially in the jazz world. Candy man is another label for a similar type of man. The material luxury he provides is “candy,” a slang term for cocaine.
well-heeled Wealthy, affluent, monied. Though it might appear that this term evolved as the opposite of down-at-the-heel, such is not the case. Of American origin, well-heeled derives from the sport of cockfighting, and was first used in reference to the metal spurs put on fighting cocks. It later came to mean ‘armed, equipped, furnished’ with any kind of weapon, usually a revolver. This latter usage was common in the 19th century, toward the close of which is found the term’s first application to being ‘furnished with money.’ This last is the only meaning retained.
Though the million and a quarter left by his grandfather has been spread among a large family he is still well-heeled enough. (The Daily Telegraph [Color Supplement], January, 1968)
|Noun||1.||affluence - abundant wealth; "they studied forerunners of richness or poverty"; "the richness all around unsettled him for he had expected to find poverty"|
wealth, wealthiness - the state of being rich and affluent; having a plentiful supply of material goods and money; "great wealth is not a sign of great intelligence"