not have a bean

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not have a bean

To have very little or no money; to be very poor. He didn't have a bean during college, and he's been something of a penny-pincher ever since.
See also: bean, have, not
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

not have a bean

Be destitute or penniless, as in He doesn't have a bean, but she's set on marrying him. Bean has been a slang term for a guinea or a sovereign coin since the early 1800s. The precise expression was first recorded in 1928.
See also: bean, have, not
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.

not have a bean

BRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
If you do not have a bean, you have no money. Note: In the following expressions, `bean' means money. It's quite incredible to think that he now hasn't got a bean. When we married we hadn't a bean so we bought all our furniture second-hand.
See also: bean, have, not
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

not have a bean

be penniless. informal
Bean was an early 19th-century slang term for a golden guinea or sovereign. In the sense of ‘a coin’, it now survives only in this phrase.
See also: bean, have, not
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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