What Does Eager Beaver Mean?

Eager Beaver Meaning

Definition: A person who is extremely or excessively enthusiastic.

Sometimes people also say eager mcbeaver.

Origin of Eager Beaver

Beavers have been recognized as hard workers for several centuries, but it was only until the 20th century that this phrase became popular.

It finds its origins around the 1940s and peaked around the mid-1950s. It is possible that this idiom became popular due to the loose rhyme between eager and beaver. Some sources speculate that it may be related to the idiom busy as a beaver, which also refers to someone who is very industrious.

Most sources state that this expression gained its popularity in the U.S. armed forces, and that it originally referred to a soldier who was excited to impress his superiors by performing duties that others would not like to do.

This expression can have either a positive or negative connotation. Sometimes, people use it to show how hardworking and energetic a person is. Other times, people use it sarcastically to show that a person is trying too hard.

Examples of Eager Beaver

eager beaver award meaningThe dialogue below shows two university students who are discussing their classmates. They use the idiom in an insulting manner.

Nisha: What do you think of this class so far?

Alan: It’s okay. I’d like to participate in the class discussions a little more, but there’s that one student who always blurts out his answer before anyone else can.

Nisha: Yeah, I agree. I hate eager beavers like him. He’s so anxious to impress the professor that he doesn’t let anyone else join in the conversation.

what is an eager beaverThe second dialogue shows a father and son discussing the Thanksgiving meal. The father uses the term in a complimentary way.

Son: I’m going to hang out at my friend’s house for a few hours. I’ll be back in time to eat.

Dad: Aren’t you going to help me cook this food?

Son: I’d rather not, if that’s okay.

Dad: I wish you were more like your older brother. He was always such an eager beaver. He always helped out around the house.

More Examples

The excerpt is about edits people make that change a correct sentence to an incorrect one.

  • Commas between noncoordinate adjectives. This is one of the most common eager-beaver editing errors I see… –LA Times

This excerpt is about a professional basketball player.

  • Steph the rock. It’s hard to remember way back to when Curry was frail and played on two glass ankles. Now he is strong as an ox and an eager beaver. –San Francisco Chronicle


The term eager beaver is a person who is overly zealous.