beaver


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

beaver away

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!
See also: away, beaver

busy 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 little brother, Sam's been a busy beaver this summer.
See also: beaver, busy

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.
See also: beaver, busy, little

eager beaver

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.
See also: beaver, eager

(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!
See also: beaver, busy, new

*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.
See also: beaver, busy

eager beaver

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.
See also: beaver, eager

work like a beaver

 and 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.
See also: beaver, like, work

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.
See also: beaver, busy

eager 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]
See also: beaver, eager

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.
See also: beaver, like, work

an eager beaver

INFORMAL
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.
See also: beaver, eager

work like a beaver

work 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’.
See also: beaver, like, work

an eager beaver

a person who is very enthusiastic about work. informal
See also: beaver, eager

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.
See also: beaver, eager

beaver

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.

beaver-cleaver

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.

eager-beaver

n. a person who is very eager to do something. Rocko is an eager-beaver when it comes to collecting money for Mr. Big.
References in periodicals archive ?
It is also well evidenced that beaver dams actually decrease the risk of downstream flooding.
Project officer Alicia Leow-Dyke said beaver dams can help clean watercourses and reduce downstream flooding.
The signs provide phone numbers for people to call if they see anyone damaging beaver dams or lodges.
Beaver dams also trap sediment, which helps to filter the water and reduce the amount of pollution entering river systems.
We estimated the date of fate as the median date between the last verified contact and when the transmitter was known to be detached or the dead beaver was recovered.
Today, scientists estimate that there are more than 10 million beavers worldwide, damming rivers and streams to their hearts' content.
A five-year trial introducing the aquatic mammals into Knapdale, Argyll, has just ended and conservationists are hopeful the beavers will be able to stay in Scotland.
As the Secretary of the Navy and the Secretary of Agriculture were directly involved in the transportation of beavers to Tierra del Fuego we also looked for documentation related to beaver introduction in their national archives.
There is also a record of a bounty payment of two pence for the head of beaver on the River Wharfe at Bolton Percy in Yorkshire in 1789.
assistance for non-lethal management techniques, including devices known as beaver deceivers or pond levelers, as well as a beaver removal incentive.
Lithuanian farmer Mykolas Hofetas, 75, yesterday urged Scots not to bring back the beaver.
Devon Wildlife Trust is working with its own Beaver Project since 2011 to protect the species in captivity.
Keywords: North American beaver, canal, Castor canadensis, foraging
To celebrate the DVD release of The Beaver, out now, Mirror Mobile has teamed up with Icon Home Entertainment so one lucky reader can win a top of the range homecinema system, including a 32" LCD TV, Blu-ray player, and 5.
Because of an editor's error, the wrong date was given in a story about beaver damage in yesterday's Telegram & Gazette.