slap·​hap·​py | \ ˈslap-ˌha-pē How to pronounce slaphappy (audio) \

Definition of slaphappy

2 : buoyantly or recklessly carefree or foolish : happy-go-lucky

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Did You Know?

Slaphappy hits a lot of the same spots as "punch-drunk": when you suffer a blow to the head, you become confused and silly for a while. The "dazed and confused" sense of "slaphappy" first appeared in English in 1936, and by the following year it was being used to describe those who behave with such abandon it’s as though they’ve had the common sense knocked out of them. A 1937 article in the New York Herald Tribune called Ernest Hemingway, a writer known to have had an adventurous lifestyle, "the slaphappy litterateur." Often you will see the word spelled with a hyphen ("slap-happy"), but the closed compound is more common.

Examples of slaphappy in a Sentence

We were all a bit slaphappy after staying up all night to finish the report. She has a slaphappy attitude about her work.
Recent Examples on the Web Drake appears to have commissioned TikTok-baiting choreography and then worked backwards from there, but the sound of the song is not in the slaphappy mode of Gen Z social media. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Drake Responds to the Pandemic in a Predictably Drake Way," 4 May 2020 Having fitted his kit with old-fashioned calfskin heads, Starr’s sturdy, slaphappy drumming achieves a newfound warmth and depth. Jonathan Gould, The New Yorker, "When the Beatles Walked Offstage: Fifty Years of “Abbey Road”," 21 Oct. 2019 This sunny spirit surely comes in handy when he is stuck in D.C., with nothing to do but tweet infuriating fantasias that may be an indication of delusions the slaphappy Dr. Jackson didn’t catch. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "Trump’s Anniversary Gift: A Government Shutdown," 21 Jan. 2018 Breaking things down with a simple pounding electro-pop rhythm laced with slaphappy synths, the track is a festive anthem for women. Tamar Herman, Billboard, "Every Girls' Generation Single Ranked From Worst to Best: Critic's Take," 11 Aug. 2017 Indeed, George Antrobus himself is a slaphappy inventor. Cynthia Zarin, The New Yorker, "Thornton Wilder’s Optimistic Catastrophe: “The Skin of Our Teeth”," 12 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'slaphappy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of slaphappy

1936, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of slaphappy was in 1936

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Cite this Entry

“Slaphappy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of slaphappy

: happy and careless

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