phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: Eager beaver

Posted by James Briggs on July 25, 2006

In Reply to: Re: Eager beaver posted by ESC on July 24, 2006

: : I'm looking for the beginning or History of the saying:
: : "eager beaver" I did not see it on your web-site.
: : Do you have an information on this saying ??

: Here's is what one reference says:

: EAGER BEAVER - "Referring, of course, to the industrious beaver, this near-rhyming expression is a Canadian Army one that isn't recorded before 1940, althought it obviously derives from such phrases as 'as busy as a beaver,' which dates back to the early 18th century. Unlike the early expression, however, 'eager beaver' is usually applied derisively to someone who is overly industrious, zealous." etc. From "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997). Page 224.

It was also the title of a very popular Stan Kenton big band piece in 1943. There was no sense of derision at this time.