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Person A uses the phrase "eager beaver" to mean an enthusiastic person. Person B chuckles. Basically my question boils down to who the weirdo is, so to speak:

  • A, because "eager beaver" is outdated and the sexual connotations are too strong to hope that one should understand the "normal" meaning

  • B, because "eager beaver" is a perfectly benign phrase with no sexual meanings whatsoever. Anyone who sees sexual connotations in this phrase is simply being immature.

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closed as not constructive by TimLymington, FumbleFingers, tchrist, MετάEd, Kris May 14 '13 at 9:00

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

tee-hee. In-your-end-o. To teenage boys practically any word or phrase can have a sexual meaning to it. Or at least that's what SHE said. etc etc etc. "Eager beaver" is funny to teenage boys because "beaver" is a common slang for "vagina", hence why "eager beaver" is so unbearably hilarious. – Matt May 13 '13 at 23:47
Beavers, by the way, are not only "enthusiastic" but they are industrious, hardworking, intelligent, adaptable, resourceful, and a whole lot more! They can do extensive property damage through their dam building and the subsequent flooding caused by their dams. They have also been known to attack humans. A man in Belarus was killed by a beaver recently. The animal severed an artery in the man's leg, and the man had bled to death by the time his friends got him to a medic. – rhetorician May 14 '13 at 1:04
@Matt: I'd say that anyone who giggles at such a benign expression is off in another world... probably Uranus ;^) – J.R. May 14 '13 at 2:57
For all the eagerness, have you looked for some definitions, usage notes anywhere? Where's the homework? – Kris May 14 '13 at 8:59
up vote 5 down vote accepted

There cannot be a definitive answer in these kind of usage question, but here's some elements for an answer that is neither your A or B:

  • It's still a rank in the scout organisation;
  • In Webster, there's no mention of a sexual tone (whereas it mentions the vulgar possible use of "beaver");
  • In the Urban dictionnary, only one out of six definitions contains a sexual reference for this idiom. Although it might makes some "grammarian" cringe, I found this later source useful for slang, vulgar neologisms and trendy, urban & edgy words or expressions. Anything I don't get in a pop a rap song I can usually found there. The fact that the Urban dictionnary is usually biased toward the dirtier option betwween possible meanings for a word seem to indicates, a contrario, that "eager beaver" still retains some innocence.

In short: It's still used without sexual innuendo but sometimes with one.

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In the UK, I've never heard this term used other than in a totally innocuous way.

Chambers gives this as the only meaning:

eager beaver noun, colloq someone who is exceptionally enthusiastic or willing

ODO also gives only a similar innocuous definition

So here, it either retains only its innocuous meaning and/or I'm not up-to-date with the youth culture (which is certainly true!).

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