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Keen Bean

noun; compounding
An eager or interested person. This term is very similar to the American term ‘eager beaver.’ The choice of ‘bean’ was most likely dictated by the fact that it rhymes with ‘keen,’ the critical part of the compound as it gives the primary meaning of the term. This stems from the use of ‘keen’ in areas influenced by British English, such as India and Hong Kong (both under British rule in the last century). The speaker probably used this term as a cute alternative to “she’s so keen.”
 
This compound of two words was heard when a friend from Hong Kong (educated in England) and a friend from India were asking about the meaning of the phrase ‘eager beaver’ over Labor Day weekend, 2005. They equated the term to ‘keen bean.’
Etymology : Rhyming compound slang formed from ‘keen,’ which contributes much of the meaning of the compound, and a word rhyming with ‘keen.’
Source : My suitemate
Last modified: 10 June 2008


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