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Full of beans

Posted by ESC on April 21, 2004

In Reply to: Full of beans posted by Sax on April 21, 2004

: Hi, I was wondering if anyone could help me find anything out as to the origin and meaning of 'full of beans.' Thanks,
: Sax

From the archives:

FULL OF PRUNES (OR BEANS) -"Each has the same meaning - peppy, lively, energetic, in high spirits, feeling one's oats, rarin' to go. 'Beans' was the first, and was originally said of horses after a feeding of beans raised for fodder - horse beans. Undoubtedly the spirited state of a bean-fed horse was observed in remote times - Romans also used beans as fodder - but I find nothing equivalent to the current expression before its own rise less than a hundred years ago. (Note publication date of reference.).The substitution of 'prunes' came into use at least seventy years ago, but a satisfactory reason for it is difficult to determine." From "Heavens to Betsy" (1955, Harper & Row) by Charles Earle Funk.