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By Betty Vanderwielen

How Happy Is a Clam or a Camper?

Funky Phrases


SEELEY LAKE – A mother looking fondly at her toddler playing in the sandbox might remark, "He's been fussy all morning, but now look at him – he's happy as a clam."

Reportedly, Robert E. Lee particularly enjoyed using the phrase, "happy as a clam at high tide." But is a clam really happy? Since no scientific study has measured the degree of a clam's happiness or sadness, the phrase apparently is the product of anthropomorphic projection.

The full phrase, as used by Lee, hints at the supposed basis for a clam's happiness. Chowder-hungry humans can only dig up clams during low tide, th...

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