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Saturday, May 31, 2008

ESL Phrase Lesson #7 "A Happy Camper" or "Not A Happy Camper"

The phrase "A Happy Camper" means having a contented feeling about service rendered to you or a state of satisfaction.

Background for the phrase:
A Camper is a person who sleeps in the woods in a tent or a camper type vehicle for the fun of it. Since they may be sacrificing the conveniences of home, such as no television, shower, electricity, etc. they are enjoying "getting back to nature" away from people, noise, etc. In this condition, they are "happy!" therefore, they are "A Happy Camper!"
However, if bugs, insects, rain, wind, noise, thunder, lightening, cold, etc. begin to cause them problems, then, they are "Not A Happy Camper!"

As used in everyday American English, we would take these meanings and use them to describe if we are happy about a service we received, such as in a restaurant or if we are not happy about the service we received.
Consider the examples below:

A. The food was very good, "I'm a Happy Camper!"

B. The service was terrible, "I'm not a Happy Camper!"

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