Where did the saying full of beans and vinegar come from and what does it mean?

closed as off-topic by Mari-Lou A, Davo, Dan Bron, David, Nigel J Dec 16 '17 at 0:16

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    I've never heard of it. What does it mean? Where did you read it? Can I find it in an online dictionary for instance? (hint, hint) – Mari-Lou A Dec 15 '17 at 10:56
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    "Full of beans" I have heard. If I say you are full of beans it means I think you are lying. That the statement you just made is false. – GEdgar Dec 15 '17 at 11:02
  • @GEdgar I thought to be "full of beans" was to be full of energy, full of life. Maybe I'm thinking of "jumping beans"....? So "full of beans" is a euphemism for "full of BS"? – Mari-Lou A Dec 15 '17 at 11:05
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    See here idioms.thefreedictionary.com/be+full+of+beans ... nut no mention of vinegar. Is the "vinegar" just a one-time enhanced version by somebody? – GEdgar Dec 15 '17 at 11:10
  • In Britain it does mean full of energy (because beans are supposed to make horses lively). – Kate Bunting Dec 16 '17 at 8:58

This appears to be a compound of two expressions having a similar meaning. "Full of beans" and "Piss and vinegar" both mean full of energy and life, although to my ear the second expression carries a particular sense of the energy tinged with aggression, while the first expression does not. The Phrase Finder defines "Piss and Vinegar" as:

Rowdy, boisterous, full of youthful energy.

while the Cambridge Dictionary defines "Full of beans" as:

to have a lot of energy and enthusiasm

tagging it as 'UK informal'.

  • In my experience, here in the US, "full of beans" means the person is lying, same as calling "BS!" or "you're full of shit!" – Kristina Lopez Dec 15 '17 at 15:18
  • Emphasis on "compound" I think. – Yorik Dec 15 '17 at 16:51

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