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treat them mean, keep them keen

Neglecting a romantic partner (or a potential romantic partner) keeps him or her interested in you. A: "Why hasn't Tom called me yet? I thought he liked me." B: "Maybe he thinks that 'treat them mean, keep them keen' actually works."
See also: keen, keep, treat

be as keen as mustard

To be very enthusiastic about something. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. These new kids are as keen as mustard to be in the choir, so we can definitely get them to clean up the choir room for us.
See also: keen, mustard

be keen about

To be excited about or interested in something. Rich is very keen about this cruise he's planned for the fall. Don't take this opportunity if you aren't keen about it.
See also: keen

be keen on

To be excited about or interested in someone or something. I'm glad that Jimmy and Lena are finally going on a date, since he's been keen on her for months. Don't take this opportunity if you aren't keen on it.
See also: keen, on

have a keen interest in something

to have a strong interest in something; to be very interested in something. Tom had always had a keen interest in music, so he started a band. The children have a keen interest in having apet, so I bought them a cat.
See also: have, interest, keen

keen on doing something

willing or eager to do something. Dave isn't very keen on going to the opera. The children are keen on swimming this afternoon. Shall I take them?
See also: keen, on

keen on someone or something

 and keen about someone or something
to be enthusiastic about someone or something. I'm not too keen on going to Denver. Sally is fairly keen about getting a new job. Mary isn't keen on her new boss.
See also: keen, on

keen about, be

Be enthusiastic about. For example, He's been keen about this whole endeavor for a long time. It is also put as be keen on, which has the additional meaning "to be ardent about or in love with," as in Jim's been keen on Jane for years. With other adverbs, such as keen at and keen of, keen has been so used since the early 1500s; the current locutions, however, date from the mid-1800s.
See also: keen

keen as mustard

If someone is keen as mustard they are very eager to do something. I have an adult pupil who scored very low in assessments but is keen as mustard. Note: You can also describe someone as mustard-keen. Sir Richard was mustard-keen to say his bit. Note: `Keen' means enthusiastic, but is also used to mean sharp when referring to the blade or cutting edge of a tool or weapon. An acidic or sour taste can also be referred to as sharp, so enthusiasm is being likened to the sharp taste or `edge' given to food by mustard.
See also: keen, mustard

keen as mustard

extremely eager or enthusiastic. British informal
Keen is used here to mean ‘operating on the senses like a sharp instrument’.
See also: keen, mustard

(as) ˌkeen as ˈmustard

(British English, informal) wanting very much to do well at something; enthusiastic: She’s as keen as mustard. She always gets here first in the morning and she’s the last to leave work in the evening.
See also: keen, mustard

be mad ˈkeen (on somebody/something)

(informal) be very interested in or enthusiastic about somebody/something: She’s been mad keen on African music ever since she came back from Zimbabwe last year.He’s mad keen on getting into the army.
See also: keen, mad

peachy (keen)

mod. fine; excellent. Your idea is really peachy!
See also: keen, peachy
References in periodicals archive ?
The Central Bank of Seychelles Governor thanked the Deputy Premier for the meeting, stressing her country's keenness to bolster bilateral cooperation in various fields.
The letter, which was delivered during a meeting with Bahrain's King in Manama on Monday, dealt with Jordanian-Bahraini ties and well as keenness to further boost them in the interest of both countries and peoples.
30 (SUNA) - Sudan and the Arab United Emirates (UAE) affirmed their keenness to develop the bilateral relations and steegthen cooperation in all issues of common interest .
In the meeting, al-Maitami affirmed Yemen's keenness to develop mutual cooperation with Malaysia, particularly trade and investment fields, alluding the steady progress of the bilateral relations between Yemen and Malaysia.
Damascus, SANA -- Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi on Wednesday stressed the government's keenness on taking all procedures to alleviate the impacts of the unjust economic sanctions imposed on Syria.
DOHA, Dec9 (KUNA) -- Undersecretary of the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry Khaled Suleiman Al-Jarallah asserted here on Tuesday success of the 35th GCC summit and its positive results on the Gulf and regional levels, thanks to the keenness of the GCC leaders in this regard.
The Ministry said in a statement that "mediation efforts came on humanitarian grounds, out of keenness by the State of Qatar to maintain the lives of innocent people, after a request by the brothers in Lebanon for Qatari mediation.
Cairo, Muharram 29, 1436, Nov 22, 2014, SPA -- Egyptian President Abdulfattah Al-Sisi stressed that Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has a great role in achieving the Arab stability and reunification which reflects his keenness on the Arab and Islamic nations.
The prisoner release comes as part of the President's keenness to give pardoned inmates an opportunity to start a new life and bring about stability to their families.
During the meeting, the Moroccan Premier stressed the strong bilateral relations binding the two brotherly countries, emphasizing on the keenness of the Moroccan officials to enhance these relations in all fields.
Islam Abad/ Aswat al-Iraq: Pakistan President Mamnoun Hussein stressed, during his meeting with Iraqi Parliament Speaker Usama Nujaifi, keenness of his country to enhance economic relations with Iraq.
He praised their patriotism as well as their keenness to protect unity and the country's hard-won achievements.
Sheikha Lubna stressed the UAE s keenness to strengthen the existing partnership with China through increasing trade and investment cooperation, pointing out that the UAE market has plenty of diverse investment opportunities that can help further strengthen economic relations between the two countries.
Mutlag's office said the Deputy PM stressed the necessity of deepening ties between Iraq and its brothers in the Gulf Cooperation Council and to maintain these ties within in an atmosphere of calmness, mutual respect, non intervention, and keenness of joint interests.
Salameh emphasized in the statement the Central Bank's keenness to preserve its current policies which primarily aim at maintaining the stability of the Lebanese pound