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In clover

Posted by Smokey Stover on March 13, 2009 at 10:28

In Reply to: In clover posted by Joe on March 12, 2009 at 20:18:

: : I was surprised not to find the expression: "I'm in clover" in Google. I'm from Texas and it is a common expression, similar to "I'm in high cotton". Have you ever heard of the expression of being in clover?

: Just add in "tall clover" or "high clover" and it is American West, Texas before Civil War so older that "tall or high cotton", also common in New mexico and Colorado, "clover" or "hay" not cotton.

I've never heard clover used with "high" or "tall." The plants tends to stay close to the ground, and even when it is doing very well it doesn't reach above a foot or so. On the other hand, cows love it, hence the common use of the phrase as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary.

"to live (or be) in clover: 'to live luxuriously; clover being extremely delicious and fattening to cattle' (J.)."

They give examples from 1710 on, and I have found it used this way in plenty of books of a more modern kind. Expressions originating in agriculture have a way of lingering on in the language, long after agriculture ceased to be the principal occupation of any large proportion of the population. However, I can vouch for the preference of cows for clover, having worked on a farm.