The prince lived happily ever after this day.

Lived happily ever after is an idiom, so I am wondering if you can combine "lived happily ever after" with "this day" or any other nominal group.

  • 2
    You can do whatever you want. When you alter a well-known phrase, the effect this has on your audience will depend on whether they believe you've done so intentionally, whether they think you've done so cleverly, whether they feel it fits the tone, etc. In short, there's no simple and no especially reliable way to predict how your word play (or fumble) will be perceived.
    – Juhasz
    Aug 25, 2021 at 22:41

1 Answer 1


While "lived happily ever after" is certainly an idiom, it is more than that - it is also a recognisable phrase commonly used at the end of fairy tales. Whenever it is used in whole, there is a strong suggestion that a situation is being likened to, or contrasted with a fairy tale. Changing it the way you suggest would break that recognisable idiom and it could lose some of its meaning or impact.

But, even if you were to accept that the phrase would lose that connotation, it would be very odd to use it as you suggest. "Ever after" is a recognised phrase found in the dictionary, but as Websters notes, it is old-fashioned language. It is only really used today as part of that longer, recognisable idiom, and perhaps some similar ones, too.

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