Posted by Bruce Kahl on October 25, 2000
In Reply to: Happy as a sandboy posted by charlotte on October 25, 2000
: Does anyone know what or who this happy sandboy is?? Noone I've asked seems to have a clue and I'm strating to lose sleep...
: Thanks! Charlotte
I dont remember where I saw this phrase and I cant find it again so I can not give you a source which makes my explanation a guess!
As a butcher puts down sawdust to soak up droppings a saloon owner will put down sand to soak up stale beer. Small boys, "sandboys", will bring in buckets of sand and be paid with small amounts of beer which can make one smile excessively, hence the "happy" part of your phrase.
Another guess is that this is a UK phrase as I never heard it here in the US of A.