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(See also IDLENESS.)
bed of roses A situation or state of ease, comfort, or pleasure; the lap of luxury. This phrase and its variants bed of down or flowers were used as early as the first half of the 17th century by Shakespeare and Herrick, among others. The rose is a symbol of perfection and completeness, giving it more weight than down or flowers, which may account for why bed of roses is the preferred form today. The expression is often used in the negative, as no bed of roses, to emphasize the disparity between what is and what could be.
dolce far niente Delightful idleness, carefree indolence; relaxation, peace-fulness, tranquillity. Attesting to the great appeal of such a lifestyle is the fact that equivalent phrases have appeared in different languages dating back to the Roman writer Pliny. English use of the Italian dolce far niente ‘sweet doing nothing’ dates from at least the turn of the 19th century.
It is there … that the dolce far niente of a summer evening is most heavenly. (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Life, 1830)
live in cotton wool See INEXPERIENCE.
lotus-eater An idle dreamer, one who lives a life of indolence and ease. The lotus-eaters or lotophagi are a mythical people found in Homer’s Odyssey. Odysseus discovers them in a state of dreamy forgetfulness and contentment induced by their consumption of the legendary lotus fruit. Having lost all desire to return to their homelands, they want only to remain in Lotus-land living a life of idle luxury. Use of the term dates from the first half of the 19th century.
A summer like that of 1893 may be all very well for the lotus-eater, but is a calamity to people who have to get their living out of English land. (The Times, December, 1893)
woolgathering Daydreaming, idle imagining or fantasizing; absent-mindedness, preoccupation, abstraction; often to go woolgathering.
Ha’ you summoned your wits from wool-gathering? (Thomas Middle-ton, The Family of Love, 1607)
Although the practice of woolgathering (wandering about the countryside collecting tufts of sheep’s wool caught on bushes) is virtually obsolete, the figurative term is still current.
|Noun||1.||indolence - inactivity resulting from a dislike of work|
inertia, inactiveness, inactivity - a disposition to remain inactive or inert; "he had to overcome his inertia and get back to work"
shiftlessness - a failure to be active as a consequence of lack of initiative or ambition
"I look upon indolence as a sort of suicide" [Lord Chesterfield]