1. a general term of affectionate address; usu. as old bean
|Adventures of Mr Ledbury I 261: ‘Well, my beans, – here we is,’ said Spriggy.|
|Prairie Logbooks (1983) 26 May 187: Feller beans, that thar trail leads through a howlin’ wilderness.|
|Medical Student 91: Halloa, Muff! how are you, my bean.|
|Bulldog Drummond 211: Oh you daisy [...] you pair of priceless beans.|
|(con. WWI) Gloss. of Sl. [...] in the A.I.F. 1921–1924 (rev. t/s) n.p.: bean. A mode of address, as ‘Hello, old Bean’.|
2. (US) a foolish or unpleasant person.
|DN IV:iii 198: bean, term of disparagement. ‘I want that darn bean of a M--- to stop calling me “honey”.’.‘Terms Of Disparagement’ in|
|Argosy All-Story 11 Sept. [Internet] Remember the time some bean tried to sell you Broadway for next to nothing; hey?‘Score Another One for Barnum’ in|
|Soldier Bill 40: If a bean like this fellow went to heaven, Bill was satisfied to go to the other place.|
3. (US black) a black person.
|‘Arkansas’ [lyrics] Little wife said, ‘Honey, I’m done with beans, I’m goona pass for green’ [i.e. white].|
4. any person.
|Dress Gray (1979) 247: Every squad leader had his good guys, his averages, and his fuck-ups. In any squad, it would be three or four good beans, three or four take ’em or leave ’em beans, and a couple of dead-ahead fuck-ups. [Ibid.] 248: The squad fuck-ups, a pair of dufus beans.IV|
(US Und.) a high-class confidence man.
|Sl. Dict. (1890) 8: Bean-Traps. Stylish sharpers; high-toned confidence men.|
|(ref. to 1890s) ‘Gloss. of Larrikin Terms’ in Larrikins 202: bean traps: stylish confidence men.|
1. a fellow, a term of address, usu. to a man.
|‘The Only Way’ in Airman’s Song Book (1945) 3: Oh, poor old bean, Archie got him clean.|
|Indiscretions of Archie Ch. iii: ‘Honestly, old bean – I mean, dear old thing, – I mean, darling,’ said Archie, ‘I can’t believe it!’.|
|Enter the Saint 114: As soon as Whiskers has rumbled that joke, you, old haricot [...] will beetle in and arrest the lot of us.|
|Inside Dope 96: Well, old bean! Haven’t seen you since the Cannes Conference!|
|in Limerick (1953) 111: She pulled down her knickers, / And also the vicar’s, / And said, ‘How about it, old bean?’.|
|letter n.d. in Charters II (1999) 124: Well, old bean, Gary is back.|
|Ghetto Sketches 155: Thank you, old bean . . . better luck next time.|
|Eldorado West One 72: Don’t be so avaricious old bean.|
|Dennis the Menace Annual 29: Thank you, old bean!|
|Grits 67: Oh dear, I rather think Wales should be granted autonomy, old bean.|
2. an old person, seen affectionately or kindly.
|Bad Girl 67: You’d be surprised what these old beans of ours will stand.|
|Body in the Library (1959) 138: An eccentric old bean, this.|