beaver

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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 ?
Having spent months building one of the key sets for the movie, it has taken a bunch of beavers to screw up my filming schedule.
The project is looking at a number of sites across Wales and staff have visited a scheme in Bavaria where beavers were first reintroduced in the 1960s.
Beavers use native plants for food and to build dams.
Alicia added: "We would like to work with partners to help with surveys at the potential release sites, a monitoring programme to investigate the benefits that beavers can have on our ecosystems.
We captured beavers using Hancock live-traps during May (2006-2010) and September-October (2006-2009, 2011-2014).
Still, we can't place the blame for global warming on the backs of beavers.
No one knows where the beavers on the Otter have come from but, together with another wild population on the river Tay in Scotland and a number of enclosed groups of beavers, they are part of restoring a once muchloved and useful animal to our countryside.
Beavers have also been released or escaped from captivity on Tayside, where there could be up to 250 of them in the wild.
We conducted an extensive search of historical books and gray literature in 2 of the largest historical archives of Ushuaia (Museo del Fin del Mundo and Museo Maritimo), the closest city to the area where beavers were introduced.
The previous most recent radiocarbon fix for beavers was on bones at Glastonbury, which dated from between 800AD and 1000.
The Farmland Beaver Damage Control Program will provide farmers and ranchers with information and additional resources to prevent overland flooding and other problems caused by nuisance beavers, including crop loss and erosion.
The dispute is over whose beavers are to blame and who is to pick up the cost of the repairs.
Experts said that the sighting of these extinct animals in the wild is highly significant since it suggests that beavers can breed outside captivity.
Beavers usually forage within 100 m of the main water body containing the lodge (Hall 1960, Jenkins 1980, Howard and Larson 1985).
Wise old beaver tells him that old beavers sometimes lose their teeth and so do young ones whose new tooth grows straight away.