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bean

[been] /bin/
noun
1.
the edible nutritious seed of various plants of the legume family, especially of the genus Phaseolus.
2.
a plant producing such seeds.
3.
the pod of such a plant, especially when immature and eaten as a vegetable.
4.
any of various other beanlike seeds or plants, as the coffee bean.
5.
Slang.
  1. a person's head.
  2. a coin or a bank note considered as a coin:
    I can't pay for the ticket, I don't have a bean in my jeans.
6.
British Informal. a minimum amount of money:
They've been disinherited and now haven't a bean.
7.
beans, Informal. the slightest amount:
He doesn't know beans about navigation.
verb (used with object)
8.
Slang. to hit on the head, especially with a baseball.
interjection
9.
beans, (used to express disbelief, annoyance, etc.).
Idioms
10.
full of beans, Informal.
  1. energetic; vigorously active; vital:
    He is still full of beans at 95.
  2. stupid; erroneous; misinformed.
11.
spill the beans, Informal. to disclose a secret, either accidentally or imprudently, thereby ruining a surprise or plan:
He spilled the beans, and she knew all about the party in advance.
Origin
950
before 950; Middle English bene, Old English bēan; cognate with Old Norse baun, Old Frisian bāne, Dutch boon, Old Saxon, Old High German bona (German Bohne), probably < Germanic *babnō, cognate with Russian bob, Latin faba < European Indo-European *bhabh-
Related forms
beanlike, adjective
Can be confused
bean, been, Ben, bin.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for full of beans

bean

/biːn/
noun
1.
any of various leguminous plants of the widely cultivated genus Phaseolus producing edible seeds in pods See French bean, lima bean, scarlet runner, string bean
2.
any of several other leguminous plants that bear edible pods or seeds, such as the broad bean and soya bean
3.
any of various other plants whose seeds are produced in pods or podlike fruits
4.
the seed or pod of any of these plants
5.
any of various beanlike seeds, such as coffee
6.
(US & Canadian, slang) another word for head
7.
(slang) cool beans, excellent; impressive
8.
(slang) not have a bean, to be without money: I haven't got a bean
9.
(informal) full of beans
  1. full of energy and vitality
  2. (US) mistaken; erroneous
10.
(informal) spill the beans, to disclose something confidential
verb
11.
(mainly US & Canadian, slang) (transitive) to hit (a person) on the head
Word Origin
Old English bēan; related to Old Norse baun, Old Frisian bāne, Old High German bōna bean
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for full of beans

bean

n.

Old English bean "bean, pea, legume," from Proto-Germanic *bauno (cf. Old Norse baun, Middle Dutch bone, Dutch boon, Old High German bona, German Bohne), perhaps from a PIE reduplicated base *bha-bha- and related to Latin faba "bean."

As a metaphor for "something of small value" it is attested from c.1300. Meaning "head" is U.S. baseball slang c.1905 (in bean-ball "a pitch thrown at the head"); thus slang verb bean meaning "to hit on the head," attested from 1910.

The notion of lucky or magic beans in English folklore is from the exotic beans or large seeds that wash up occasionally in Cornwall and western Scotland, carried from the Caribbean or South America by the Gulf Stream. They were cherished, believed to ward off the evil eye and aid in childbirth.

Slang bean-counter "accountant" recorded by 1971. To not know beans (American English, 1933) is perhaps from the "of little worth" sense, but may have a connection to colloquial expression recorded around Somerset, to know how many beans make five "be a clever fellow."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for full of beans

full of beans

adjective phrase
  1. Vibrant with energy; peppy: The old guy was still full of beans (1854+)
  2. (also full of hops) Wrong; mistaken, esp chronically so; full of shit: maybe Ted Williams was full of beans (1940s+)

[first sense fr the belief that a bean-fed horse is particularly frisky and strong; second sense fr a connection with beans, hops, prunes, etc, as promoting excretion]


bean

noun
  1. A five-dollar gold piece (1850s+ Underworld)
  2. A dollar: without a coat on his back or a bean in his pocket (1900+)
  3. A poker chip (1900+ Gambling)
  4. The head, esp the human head and brain: Whistling at a crook is not near as effective as to crack him on the bean with a hickory stick (1900+)
  5. A person of Spanish-American background, esp a Chicano (1920+)
verb

To strike someone on the head, esp to hit a baseball batter on the head with a pitch: Not the first time I've been beaned (1910+)

Related Terms

full of beans, jellybean, loose in the bean, mean bean, spill the beans, use one's head


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with full of beans

full of beans

.
Lively, energetic, in high spirits, as in The children were full of beans today, looking forward to their field trip. This expression has no valid explanation. [ c. 1840 ]
.
Also, full of prunes. Acting foolish, talking nonsense, as in One cup of coffee won't hurt you—you're full of prunes. [ c. 1930 ]
Also see: full of crap
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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