Meaning of happy-clappy in English:


Pronunciation /ˈhapɪklapi/


informal British
  • Belonging to or characteristic of a Christian group whose worship is marked by enthusiastic participation.

    • ‘he's one of the happy-clappy lot’
    • ‘Their happy-clappy Beach Boys-inspired music is downright infectious, so go along a join the worshippers - you'll be converted.’
    • ‘If that happy-clappy view of divine justice is not repudiated, then the integrity of Catholic doctrine will become Hindley's final victim.’
    • ‘Cheerful, meaningless, happy-clappy pop is absolutely fine (even if I find myself increasingly embarrassed that I have not the faintest idea what I'm listening to: ‘Oh, so this is Pink’).’
    • ‘Their smiling, happy-clappy welcome to all associated with the World Cup finals even looks a little naive to those of us who have arrived from world-weary quarters of the globe.’
    • ‘How many romantic misunderstandings and happy-clappy showstoppers must we endure before longing for the curtain to drop in front of those beaming, ambitious faces?’
    • ‘Forget any notions of happy-clappy rock songs.’
    • ‘All right, I'm not one of them happy-clappy dippy-hippies who thinks world peace is just a state of mind.’
    • ‘Finally, as we were on our way to Mrs. Lefty's parents' house, we passed a hippy modern fundy church, filled with happy-clappy fundies on their big Saturday night out.’
    • ‘Contentedly you camp, singing happy-clappy Bob Dylan tunes around the fire before heading out next day at the crack of dawn.’
    • ‘Additional bit, having thought about it I should say also that if you're one of those freaks that likes a smiley happy-clappy ending to a film, then this is NOT a film for you.’
    • ‘There is a whole subcontinent of them out there in India and they are shucking off the happy-clappy Hare Krishna image of the 60s.’
    • ‘The local Anglican churches are under heavy pressure to go in for the happy-clappy bible thumping stuff which the Jensens see as the path to recovery for the Anglican church.’
    • ‘Those are, basically, phrases that, in corporate parlance, mean ‘creating a happy-clappy office’.’
    • ‘An avid footballer and ballet fan, she has also inherited her mother's strong Methodist beliefs, and is known at university as a key happy-clappy player in God's earthly squad.’
    • ‘But then the fictional President Bartlett and the real Baroness Thatcher are made of sterner stuff than happy-clappy trendy vicars.’
    • ‘In fact, the agent of self-deception might itself be a social grouping, such as a happy-clappy religious cult.’

nounplural noun happy-clappies

informal British
  • A member of a Christian group whose worship is marked by enthusiastic participation.

    • ‘happy-clappies and traditionalists’
    • ‘That's what comes from being gullible happy-clappies.’
    • ‘It's unsurprising that in a course on deviance, we might talk about deviant stuff and I don't accept that at a university, we should have to trim our sails so that the local happy-clappies are satisfied with our absence of moral turpitude.’
    • ‘They would have to put up with the ‘happy-clappies’.’
    • ‘He's been a happy-clappy all his life. He accidentally sent me this email by mistake.’


1980s from happy + clap + -y.