Tickled Pink – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you feeling delighted at something in your life? If so, you could say you’re “tickled pink” at the news you received. This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.


If you’re feeling tickled pink, it means that you are simply delighted. You are in a happy place, and you feel like nothing can bring down your level of happiness and well-being at the moment.

We usually feel tickled pink after receiving good news or when other people do nice things for us. If you’re tickled pink, it means that you’re in a state of bliss, and you feel grateful for your life and your situation.

Example Usage

“I just got the news that the boss is promoting me to regional manager. I’m feeling tickled pink right now; I’ve been waiting for this for a while.”

“What a weekend. It was great seeing my little girl get married to the love of her life. I’m feeling tickled pink as a mother right now.”

“I love how you care for me so much and how you make me feel. I’m tickled pink right now, and I hope this feeling never stops.”

“That was amazing. I can’t believe everyone chipped in like that to help me out. I’m tickled pink right now.”

“I’m thrilled and tickled pink. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome than that, thank you.”


The expression “tickled pink” comes from the early 1600s. The origin of the phrase comes from the variation written by Samuel Hieron in his book “Works” in 1617.

“Well, might they haue their eares ticled with some pleasing noise.”

The phrase changed again in 1734 when it appeared in “Rollin’s Ancient History,” as the following.

“Eating in Egypt was designed not to tickle the palate but to satisfy the cravings of nature.”

Nathaniel Hawthorne would use another version in his book, “Passages from the French and Italian note-books,” in 1864, where it appears as follows.

“Something that thrilled and tickled my heart with a feeling partly sensuous and partly spiritual.”

The St. Nicholas magazine for boys and girls would publish a different version in 1907 as the following.

“I’m tickled to death to find someone with what they call human emotions.”

However, the modern version of the phrase would only appear in writing in Illinois’ newspaper, “The Daily Review,” in 1910, in a column titled “Lauder Tickled at Change,” where it reads.

“Grover Laudermilk was tickled pink over Kinsella’s move in buying him from St. Louis.”

Phrases Similar to Tickled Pink

  • Feeling thrilled.
  • Feeling extremely satisfied.

Phrases Opposite to Tickled Pink

  • Extremely dissatisfied.
  • Feeling terrible.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Tickled pink.

Ways People May Say Tickled Pink Incorrectly

The phrase has nothing to do with the action of tickling people or being tickled. The tickling in this saying means pleasure or gratification. It’s like the feeling you get after being tickled as your senses and nerves return to normal, leaving you feeling relaxed and perhaps a little pink in the cheeks.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Tickled Pink

You can use the saying “tickled pink” when you’re trying to convey a sense of delighted excitement to others. The phrase suits professional and social use and suits a wide variety of situations in life.

For instance, receiving a promotion at work could leave you feeling tickled pink. Your partner bringing you flowers home after work and taking you out to dinner could leave you feeling tickled pink.

It’s a way of expressing extreme satisfaction with an outcome, often an unexpected one. If you’re feeling tickled pink, you’re satisfied and delighted at the results or news you receive.

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