slap·​hap·​py ˈslap-ˌha-pē How to pronounce slaphappy (audio)
: buoyantly or recklessly carefree or foolish : happy-go-lucky

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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 By late in the afternoon, Stone and her team were slaphappy with overwork. Rachel Monroe, The New Yorker, 4 Nov. 2022 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, 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, 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, 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, 11 Aug. 2017 Indeed, George Antrobus himself is a slaphappy inventor. Cynthia Zarin, The New Yorker, 12 Mar. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'slaphappy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1936, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of slaphappy was in 1936


Dictionary Entries Near slaphappy

Cite this Entry

“Slaphappy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

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