'Happy Hour'

Posted by Masakim on March 04, 2003

In Reply to: 'Happy Hour' posted by Stephan on March 04, 2003

: Does anyone know the origin of the term 'Happy Hour' that describes the period between 5 and 7 PM where bars offer drink specials (and often free food). I have spent hours researching beverage and entertainment histories to no avail.

happy hour n. [1950s+] (orig. US)
a period, 1 or poss. 2 hours, when a pub or bar offers drinks at half price, usu. about 6pm: the assumption is that those customers who arrive for the cheap drinks will become sufficiently tipsy to stay on for the more expensive ones.
[orig. US Navy term for a scheduled period of time for entertainment and refreshment]
From Cassell's Dictionary of Slang by Jonathon Green
Boxing and wrestling were taken up by the individual ship and, generally speaking, one evening each were given over to "happy hours," for bouts in the ring and on the mat. (Belknap, _Yankee Mining Squad_, 1920)
Except for those who spend too much during "happy hour" at the bar -- and there are few of these -- the money mounts up fast. (_Saturday Evening Post_, April 25, 1959)