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Phrases And Their Origins

Full Of Beans

Full Of Beans means to be boisterously lively or over-energetic. But can mere beans have such an effect on you? In most people's case they just make you fart a lot. So, why does "full of beans" mean being bouncy and vivacious?

There's a hill of beans for the best answer.



Once, long ago, there was a little boy called Jack whose parents were very poor. The only possession they had was a cow called Nancy. The cow was very nice and friendly, but frankly it wasn't much good to a family on the verge of starvation. Jack's mum told him to take Nancy into town and sell her.

Jack was half way there when he bumped into a little wizard-type bloke. The wizard stopped him and said, "I'll swap that there cow of yours for these here beans of mine." The wizard produced a handful of dead mouldy old bean things.

"What are they?" asked Jack, enthralled.

"These here are magic beans," replied the wizard (in a strong Somerset accent). "If you plant 'em, they'll grow into a big fuck-off beanstalk which you may then climb up and enter a magical world full of gold."

"Bollocks." said Jack.

"Oh alright then," replied the wizard. "They're just speed pills. Take a handful of these babies and you'll be bollocksed for a fortnight."

"Cool!" said Jack. He swallowed several beans, said goodbye to Nancy and set off home.

Now what the wizard had NOT told jack was the exact strength of the beans. By the time Jack got home he was so wankered he hardly knew where he was. Adrenelin pumped through his veins like shit through a cistern. By the time his poor mum saw him his eyes were hanging out on stalks, his tongue was lolling and his feet were dancing about of their own accord.

"You fucking little bastard!" yelled his mother (who was from Grimsby, in fact it was Brian's mother). "Where's me fucking cow?"

"I swapped it mam, for some speed pills. They're fucking well good an' all!" Jack bit deeply into his tongue and blood poured from his grinning mouth.

"Well give us one then!" said Jack's mam.

And she had some. And she was fucked as well. And... er... hence the phrase 'full of beans'.

Phrases And Their Origins

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