Unlike many aspects of the late 90s and early 2000s, the controversial early-Internet phrase "cool beans" has actually not yet seen its semi-ironic revival. Also spelling that quirkily, together kool bean or kewl beans or cool beanz, yields little by way of cred; come utter "cool beans" does no a cool teenager make. Nevertheless, the phrase has persisted, in spite of being kind of nonsensical and, to many, annoying.

You are watching: Where did the expression cool beans come from

How did a chilled legume come to signify a kind-of-dorky center ground between "fine" and also "great"? Tracking the etymology the the expression is a an overwhelming enterprise. A cursory Google search offers only speculation and citation—no answers. Follow to the magazine The Iowan, "cool beans" is choose the word "folks": one Iowism because that which beginnings are unknown.


Although it's normally acknowledged that civilization started speak "cool beans" in the 60s, details Internet sources cite a line from Cheech and also Chong's 1978 stoner comedy Up in Smoke as among the an initial records of the expression in popular music culture: Supposedly, as soon as Cheech speak Chong the valve they've simply driven throughout the Mexican–American border is do of weed, Chong replies, "Cool beans!" Others conflict this claim, speak the phrase appears in among their comedy albums yet not in the film. (I watched the movie; it's not in there. The males don't even ever realize their van is make of pot!) In the late 80s and also early 90s, DJ Tanner commonly used the phrase in Full House. ~ that, it came to be prominent enough that ns am creating this article today.

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All that this is well and also cute, however it does not answer the question: Whence go "cool beans" come? The us Dry p Council did no respond to mine requests because that comment, but I thought a peruse of your site can give me some answers. The USDBC proposal storing uncooked bean in a "cool, dry area," which would render castle cool, both due to the fact that they would be in a not-hot an are and due to the fact that they would be in one optimal state for later on consumption, i beg your pardon is pretty cool. Should you chef your beans and want to keep them, the USDBC argues you refrigerate them, returning them to your cool state. Leftovers also save you money, i beg your pardon is very cool.

In other words, beans have the right to be both literally and also figuratively cool. Yet such humble origins do no an iconic teenager slang phrase make. What's more, beans offer many health benefits, which is no something traditionally considered cool.



Stymied and also discouraged, ns emailed Jonathon Green, one of the world's leading slang lexicographers and also the author of Green's Slang Dictionary, a three-volume compendium of over 10.3 million slang words and phrases that costs $625 brand-new on Amazon. In ~ first, even he to be uncertain.

"My feeling is the it occurred from the mid-19th-century 'some beans', used for something viewed as impressive," green told me. "There is also Australia's 'bean': the summary of fashion."

When i asked Green about "some beans," however, he offered up the (dry) goods. "Some beans," the said, reflects up in an 1853 autobiography: "By golly! You're some beans in a bar-fight. I'd rather collection to v an old 'he' bar," it says. Environment-friendly says this "gives the sense" the it might all come indigenous the phrase "full of beans."

What is the etymology of the phrase "full the beans," you ask? Well. According to Green, that is horse-racing jargon, "stable slang," "referring to a "sprightly horse." while in the so late 1800s the expression went top top to denote arrogance, "especially with the suddenly or recent acquiring of wealth," the phrase originated in the fact that people would feed equines beans to make them run faster.

I didn't know this, yet is it cool? i wasn't sure. However, at the end of his correspondence, Green offered a more definitively neat theory for the an interpretation of 'full that beans': "But go it additionally refer come the pet being blown follow me by that 'wind', i.e., farting?"

That's right, folks. The expression "cool beans" stems from the expression "some beans," which stems indigenous the phrase "full of beans," which most likely stems from steed farts. And also that, ns think we can all agree, is pretty cool.

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