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treat them mean, keep them keen

Neglecting a romantic partner (or a potential romantic partner) keeps them 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

be mad keen (on someone or something)

To be very enthusiastic or excited about someone or something. Oh, I've seen the way Tim smiles at you—he's definitely mad keen on you! I'm mad keen on that college, so I really hope they accept me.
See also: keen, mad, someone

keen as mustard

Very enthusiastic and excited (about or to do something). Hyphenated if used as a modifier before a noun. There are plenty of talented kids around this area who are keen as mustard to be on the team, so we should have no problem filling the spot. Silverstone plays the hardened veteran detective, while Ridley plays the keen-as-mustard rookie assigned to be her partner.
See also: keen, mustard

peachy keen

Just fine; splendid; as good as one could hope for. Sometimes used sarcastically to imply the opposite. A: "Everyone doing all right in here?" B: "Yep, we're peachy keen!" A: "Oof, that was quite a tumble. You OK?" B: "Just peachy keen, thanks."
See also: keen, peachy

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 ?
He reviewed the ministry's programmes, in particular those dedicated to Tunisians abroad, pointing to the interest that the Head of State takes in the Tunisian community abroad and his keenness to lend a receptive ear to their concerns and meet their aspirations, by devoting an item in his (2009-2014) Presidential Programme entitled "Tunisians abroad: Always at the heart of the nation.
the Sultanate and the keenness to serve the interests of the countries.
NNA - Speaker of the House, Nabih Berri, on Friday reiterated keenness on the rights of Lebanon's sects, adding that the political settlement over the new election law does not harm anybody.
The two sides also confirmed the keenness of their countries on combating terrorism and extremism and agreed on the need to exert more strenuous efforts to dry up the sources of terrorism as well as their keenness on the security and stability of the region.
The King stressed keenness to further develop relations and underlined the importance of such visits in bolstering co-operation.
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.
He stressed keenness on improving relationships with the EU.
The move comes in line with the keenness of Shaikh Mohammed on the provision of the modern houses to the citizens.
p) activity comes within the framework of ROH keenness to support its educational programs and the communication with the society.
BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Thursday praised stances adopted by Anbar officials and their keenness to defend the national unity.
He expressed keenness of his country to benefit from the UAE progress in this field, indicating that his ministry was ready to help the UAE corporations that seek to invest in fields of communications and information technology in the country.
CARTHAGE, April 3, 2010 (TAP) - Participants in works of the first session of the National Union of Tunisian Women (UNFT)'s 13th Congress, placed under the high auspices of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, highlighted the purport of the Head of State's opening speech at the Congress which reflects his sustained keenness to strengthen the role of the Organisation and its social, civilisational and development mission.
HRH Premier lauded the strong bilateral relations and mutual keenness to bolster cooperation in various political, economic, commercial and investment fields.
BAGHDAD / National Iraqi News Agency (NINA) - Speaker Salim al-Jubouri expressed his country's keenness to hold fair and transparent elections to ensure security and political stability in the country and peaceful coexistence of Iraqi people.
The two leaders agreed on holding continued consultations and coordination, stressing keenness on fostering cooperation between the two countries in various domains.