beaver(redirected from a beaver)
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
(as) busy as a beaver (building a new dam)
Very busy, assiduous, or hardworking. The phrase refers to beavers' reputation for being extremely industrious. Between working two part-time jobs, volunteering on the weekends, and looking after his little brother, Sam's been busy as a beaver this summer. I've been as busy as a beaver building a new dam this year. I've had almost no free time!
(as) busy as a bee
Very busy. I'm currently choreographing three plays, so I'm as busy as a bee. Can we meet next week instead? I'm busy as a bee right now.
vulgar slang A woman's genitals and/or pubic hair.
To work industriously and at great length at some task, project, or goal. Likened to a beaver working ceaselessly on a dam. She's been beavering away for years to earn her law degree, and after all that work, she finished first in her class. I brought you some lemonade, since you've been beavering away planting flowers in the back yard all day!
vulgar slang A penis. "Beaver Cleaver" was a character on the 1950s TV show Leave It to Beaver. "Beaver" is also a slang term for the vagina. Hey, I don't want to see your beaver-cleaver—pull up your pants!
A very busy, assiduous, or hardworking person. Taken from the phrase "busy as a beaver," referring to beavers' reputation for being extremely industrious. Between working two part-time jobs, volunteering on the weekends, and looking after his little brother, Sam's been a busy beaver this summer.
busy little beaver
A very busy, assiduous, or hardworking person. Taken from the phrase "busy as a beaver," referring to beavers' reputation for being extremely industrious. Between working two part-time jobs, volunteering on the weekends, and looking after his brother, Sam's been a busy little beaver this summer.
One who is industrious and enthusiastic (perhaps annoyingly so). Give that big project to the new girl, she's a real eager beaver. Aren't you an eager beaver, getting to the office an hour early.
work like a beaver
To work very intently, persistently, and assiduously. A reference to beavers' reputation of being extremely industrious. I worked like a beaver the entire summer after high school to earn enough cash to buy my first guitar. The kids are all working like beavers to get the pageant ready in time.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
*busy as a beaver (building a new dam)and *busy as a bee; *busy as a one-armed paperhanger; *busy as Grand Central Station; *busy as a cat on a hot tin roof; *busy as a fish peddler in Lent; *busy as a cranberry merchant (at Thanksgiving); *busy as popcorn on a skillet
very busy. (*Also: as ~.) My boss keeps me as busy as a one-armed paperhanger. I don't have time to talk to you. I'm as busy as a beaver. When the tourist season starts, this store is busy as Grand Central Station. Sorry I can't go to lunch with you. I'm as busy as a beaver building a new dam. Prying into other folks' business kept him busy as popcorn on a skillet.
someone who is very enthusiastic; someone who works very hard. New volunteers are always eager beavers. The young assistant gets to work very early. She's a real eager beaver.
work like a beaverand work like a mule; work like a horse; work like a slave
Fig. to work very hard. She has an important deadline coming up, so she's been working like a beaver. You need a vacation. You work like a slave in that kitchen. I'm too old to work like a horse. I'd prefer to relax more.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
busy as a beaver
Also, busy as a bee. Hardworking, very industrious, as in With all her activities, Sue is always busy as a bee, or Bob's busy as a beaver trying to finish painting before it rains. The comparison to beavers dates from the late 1700s, the variant from the late 1300s. Also see eager beaver; work like a beaver.
An exceptionally zealous person, one who habitually takes on more tasks or works harder than others. For example, Bill is a real eager beaver, always volunteering to stay late. This expression became especially popular during World War II, applied to recruits anxious to impress their commanding officers by such behavior. [First half of 1900s]
work like a beaver
Also, work like a dog or horse or Trojan . Work very energetically and hard, as in She worked like a beaver to clean out all the closets, or I've been working like a dog weeding the garden, or He's very strong and works like a horse. The first of these similes is the oldest, first recorded in 1741; the variants date from the second half of the 1800s. Also see work one's fingers to the bone.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
an eager beaverINFORMAL
If you describe someone as an eager beaver, you mean that they are very enthusiastic about work and want very much to please other people. There are always eager beavers, people who stay behind after the talk to ask penetrating questions. Ed was the first to arrive at the office, the eager beaver! Note: Eager-beaver can also be used before a noun. If fraud became an issue, he might interest an eager-beaver lawyer in the case. Note: You usually use these expressions to show that you find someone's behaviour foolish or annoying. Note: Beavers are often associated with hard work, as they spend a lot of time building shelters and dams (= walls across rivers) out of mud and wood.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
work like a beaverwork steadily and industriously. informal
The beaver is referred to here because of the industriousness with which it constructs the dams necessary for its aquatic dwellings. The image is similarly conjured up by the phrase beaver away meaning ‘work hard’.
an eager beavera person who is very enthusiastic about work. informal
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
an eager ˈbeaver(informal) a person who is enthusiastic about work, etc: She always starts work early and leaves late. She’s a real eager beaver.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
1. n. the female genitals. (Usually objectionable.) He thought he could see her beaver through her swimming suit.
2. n. women considered as receptacles for the penis. (Rude and derogatory.) He devoted most of his teen years to dreaming about beaver.
n. the penis. (see also beaver. Also a play on Beaver Cleaver the lead character in the old television show, Leave It to Beaver.) He seemed proud of his beaver-cleaver, as he called it. No one knew why.
n. a person who is very eager to do something. Rocko is an eager-beaver when it comes to collecting money for Mr. Big.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
busy as a beaver/bee
Extremely industrious. The proverbial comparison to bees dates from Chaucer’s time. The one to beavers is newer, going back only to the seventeenth century; it also is put as works like a beaver and eager beaver. Among more recent proverbial comparisons for being busy, which liken it more to nervous overactivity than ambitiousness, is busy as a one-armed paperhanger, an Americanism dating from about 1910.
An overzealous or extremely ambitious individual. The beaver has been known as an especially hard worker since at least the seventeenth century, on a par with busy as a bee. It was only in the twentieth century that this not-quite-rhyming expression gained currency. It was widely used for overzealous recruits during World War II who chronically disobeyed the unwritten rule, Never volunteer, and rapidly became a cliché.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer