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Bean counter

Posted by R. Berg on May 13, 2003

In Reply to: Bean counter posted by Fred on May 13, 2003

: : Where did the phrase "bean counter" come from and what is it's exact meaning?

: A bean counter considers only quantities when
: qualities should be considered. Suppose an
: editor of a newspaper gives pay raises to staff
: members on the basis of the number
: of articles written rather than the quality of
: the articles. The editor is a bean counter.

"Bean counter" is often used as a disparaging term for an accountant.