jumping bean

jumping bean

noun
the seed of any of certain Mexican plants of the genera Sebastiania and Sapium, of the spurge family: the movements of a moth larva inside the seed cause it to move about or jump.


Origin:
1885–90, Americanism

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World English Dictionary
jumping bean
 
n
a seed of any of several Mexican euphorbiaceous plants, esp species of Sebastiania, that contains a moth caterpillar whose movements cause it to jerk about

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