To live off the fat of the land is an idiom that goes back thousands of years. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal meaning. We will examine the meaning of the phrase live off the fat of the land, where this term came from and some examples of its use in sentences.
To live off the fat of the land means to live well, to live off the surrounding abundance. The term live off the fat of the land was first used in the King James Version of the Bible, translated 1611, Genesis 45:18: “And take your father and your households, and come unto me: and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land.” Related phrases are lives off the fat of the land, lived off the fat of the land, living off the fat of the land. Sometimes one finds the phrase rendered as live on the fat of the land.
Always one of the most scrupulous of players, Simmons allows Slim to signal subtly that he understands fully what the relationship is between George and Lennie and how they need the chimerical fantasy that they can get together a few hundred bucks, build a place of their own, and live off the “fat of the land.” (The Syracuse New Times)
After a stint at a progressive agricultural school in Wisconsin, Patterson moved his family to rural Libertyville, Illinois, to live off the fat of the land. (The Washington Free Beacon)
“You don’t know the reason, but all of a sudden the river stops flowing and all those animals that have expanded on the fat of the land get left with diminishing resources.” (The South Bend Tribune)