One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A large semiaquatic broad-tailed rodent that is native to North America and northern Eurasia. It is noted for its habit of gnawing through tree trunks to fell the trees in order to feed on the bark and build dams.
- ‘Yes, beavers are industrious rodents whose dams help our river systems.’
- ‘Harvested and driven from its habitat until it disappeared from much of the northeastern U.S., the beaver is now making such a strong comeback that it is becoming a nuisance in some areas.’
- ‘One of the favorite targets of the trappers in North America was the beaver, the largest of the North American rodents.’
- ‘The bear, wolf, coyote, fisher, wolverine, otter, and lynx prey upon the beaver who is, nevertheless, a powerful antagonist when at bay.’
- ‘This slow-moving creature is Canada's largest rodent next to the beaver.’
- ‘The Rodentia also includes beavers, muskrats, porcupines, woodchucks, chipmunks, squirrels, prairie dogs, marmots, chinchillas, voles, lemmings, and many others.’
- ‘I was investigating the impact of beavers in a forest in Slitere National Park in northern Latvia.’
- ‘Sycamores naturally grow in river bottoms, and beavers use the young trees for dams and houses.’
- ‘So-called open-root teeth are common to animals that gnaw, such as beavers.’
- ‘Here on the U.S.-Canadian border along the Saint Lawrence River, I have been observing six beaver colonies this winter, and beavers from five of them have been out frequently to harvest trees and brush.’
- ‘There was no mention made of the fact that the beaver is a native North American species whereas the cherry trees are exotics, imported from Japan.’
- ‘Canada geese, muskrats, groundhogs, beavers, and various bird species may cause nuisance problems in and around the pond.’
- ‘For all the interest in leopards, Waser thinks philopatry may turn out to be more common in species such as beavers, wood rats and kangaroo rats-animals in which females make large investments in their ranges.’
- ‘Birdwatchers and wildlife aficionados may see hawks, white-tailed deer, moose, black bears, martens, red squirrels and beavers, and, if very lucky, catch a glimpse of timber wolves.’
- ‘Other animals that may carry and transmit the disease include beavers, muskrats, water and field voles, water and wood rats, squirrels, and lemmings.’
- ‘Although the beaver's industrious habits, wholesome diet, and generally meritorious lifestyle have endeared it to many human beings, the fact remains that beavers are also prized for their flesh, and are eaten.’
- ‘Some of these destructive species include beavers, muskrats, elk, deer, voles, marmots, prairie dogs and geese.’
- ‘Modern beavers are found in North America, northern Europe, and northern Asia.’
- ‘At the Farmington River we found several trees that were gnawed on by the beavers.’
- ‘Living members of the group today include beavers, squirrels, guinea pigs, rats, mice, capybaras, and hundreds of other species, said Sánchez-Villagra.’
- 1.1 The soft light brown fur of the beaver.
- ‘It was once extremely abundant throughout most of the continent but went into decline as early as 1638, mainly because the great insulating qualities of beaver fur made it the best material for hat manufacture.’
- ‘He handed the Huronian Native the promised items and received the soft beaver pelts, placing them with the rest from that day.’
- ‘A ninth generation Early, Charles, who masterminded the move to Sedbergh, said the Indians used to equate the brightly coloured blankets' value to how many beaver skins they were worth.’
- ‘‘I've got a little booklet from there that gives you three different recipes for beavers, and has a picture of a dolly bird draped in beaver furs,’ he added.’
- ‘There were six different furs to choose from including brown and grey Persian lamb, and beaver.’
- ‘Also on the program that night were the Marshall Dancers from the Lower Yukon, dressed in sumptuous headdresses that were trimmed with wolf and beaver fur.’
- ‘There is beaver or printed silver for fur trim used with leather for collars, sleeves and belts.’
- ‘Defence chiefs decided to stop making the busbies worn by the King's Troop from beaver fur several years ago, after protests that the animal was in danger of becoming extinct.’
- ‘The 1925 Hudson's Bay Point blanket's short indigo stitch lines, or ‘points,’ indicate how many beaver pelts it once traded for.’
- ‘The first exploration of Canada's interior was for the purpose of finding beaver pelts to satisfy the obsession with fur coats by the European elite.’
- ‘The greatest reward went to the post master who received one shilling for each score of beaver or an amount of furs of the same value.’
- ‘The biggest difference was that New Netherland and its port town were together principally a trading colony, buying beaver and other fur skins from the Indians to sell at a profit in Europe.’
- ‘These ethnic artefacts use interesting materials such as beaver fur, moose hide and deer toes.’
- ‘Exceptions to this rule are dark sheared faux furs, such as black sheared beaver and longhaired Mongolian lamb; cut these with the pile running upward.’
- ‘These skins - especially beaver - were quite valuable and used in the Eastern states and in Europe for top hats, coats and other expensive clothing.’
- ‘In the slap of waves against the rocky shore one can imagine hearing phantom brigades moving across the lakes, paddling in close line astern, their canoes piled high with beaver pelts destined for Bond Street and the rue de Rivoli.’
- ‘Her coffin was lovingly wrapped in muskrat, beaver and fox furs and lowered into the ground by her family.’
- ‘From the early French fur traders of the 17th century to the early trading posts established by the Hudson's Bay Company, fur, and more specifically beaver pelts, were a source of income and fortune for early settlers.’
- 1.2historical A hat made of felted beaver fur.
- ‘Padlin doubted his eyes were visible, shadowed from the overhead gaslights by the brim of his beaver hat.’
- ‘Along the old lanes there is still the feeling of Nouvelle France, of fur-trappers and voyageurs, of hearty chaps in beaver hats and birch-bark canoes who disappeared into the interior to hunt, to fish and to marry Iroquois brides.’
- ‘After a series of assassination attempts, Wirz was forced to make most of his journey to Washington in disguise: clean-shaven, and in a black suit and beaver hat.’
- ‘They were fairly large specimens, dressed for the evening in the beaver hats and red flannel shirts favored by rough sporting men.’
- ‘Headlining the array of unique lots already donated to the auction are a 50 foot round pen from MD Barns, a 100X pure beaver hat from Sean Ryon, and a TR3 Drag from Absolute Innovations.’
- ‘He nodded and Jeffries handed him his gloves, his beaver hat, and cane.’
- ‘Savvy Yanker bankrollers in Missouri rounded up a bunch of tough lads for capturing beaver pelts to satisfy the rage of the day - the beaver hat.’
- ‘Skepticism regarding the new officer was confirmed after he appeared in camp at Swift Run Gap wearing a conspicuous Prince Albert coat and large beaver hat, holding an umbrella to shield himself from the sun, as troops jeered him.’
- ‘Franklin used his fame to win an alliance with France, even letting himself be pictured in a beaver hat.’
- 1.3 A heavy woolen cloth resembling felted beaver fur.
- ‘The overcoat was of navy blue beaver cloth, double-breasted, rolling collar, pocket-welts on back, breast pocket with flap on the right side, the waist extending to one inch below the hip, and the skirt to three inches below the bend of the knee, swell edge stitch one-fourth of an inch from edge, flaps on pocket, swell edge stitched one fourth of an inch from edge.’
- ‘This tenant house, 1 of 7, was part of a mill complex that mainly made jeans and beaver cloth.’
- ‘It is similar to beaver cloth but lighter and finer.’
- ‘Florence was given away by her father and wore a travelling dress of brown beaver cloth with hat and gloves to match.’
- ‘The annual production is about 120,000 yards of all-wool beaver cloth.’
- ‘The Sears ad copy, ‘The coat is made from an extra good quality Rareton Mills blue beaver cloth and makes a very dressy and warm garment.’’
- ‘After Grant's death, the Springfield Republican newspaper noted that Gerhardt had spent time at Mt. McGregor and made a model of the General representing him in his chair in his beaver cloth dressing gown, holding his pencil in his right hand and his writing pad on his knee.’
- 1.4 A very hard-working person.
- ‘Busy beaver President Clinton has been working hard in his final days.’
- ‘Sorry there's no proper post from me today as I've been a busy little beaver…’
- ‘Engineers are working like beavers, but it appears that our homes are in no immediate danger.’
- ‘This alone was fascinating for the children and working like beavers, they followed his instructions on the cutting, joining and pasting of the pieces for the actual assembly of their own rubber-powered model plane.’
- ‘Working not only across Simenon's Electric Tones label but also having finishing the latest Bomb The Bass record, the London duo of Corker and Conboy have certainly been busy little beavers over the past year.’
- ‘However, Hickey and Coady played manfully in defence - the latter the man of the match given the pressure they were under - while Kehoe and Bambrick also had to work like beavers.’
- ‘I have been a busy little beaver this week in Canberra, oh yes.’
- ‘The champions were blessed to be in front and may thank their backs for keeping them in the contest, while Doyle and Stephen worked like beavers in the middle trying to curb the supremacy of Byrne.’
- ‘As CEOs tell it, rewarding executives and employees with stock options makes them all busy beavers bent solely on increasing their company's value.’
- ‘The new and groovy first, and the only non financial slice today: Those busy beavers at Tom's have been to the Embedded Processor Forum in San Jose, and they reckon there's a lot of interesting stuff heading this way.’
- ‘There's a small bit on Liffey Street and their working away like beavers to have that done by Thursday night.’
- ‘On the other hand Mitchels, who were playing a lot of under-16s in the team, worked away like beavers with Damian and Eamon shooting past the Harps keeper.’
Work hard.‘Bridget beavered away to keep things running smoothly’
work hard, toil, labour, work one's fingers to the bone, work like a dog, work like a trojan, work day and night, exert oneself, keep at it, keep one's nose to the grindstone, grind, slave, grub, plough, plod, pegView synonyms
- ‘Just imagine two dozen toddlers beavering away in a big, busy room: the only way to avoid utter chaos is by establishing and enforcing clear rules about sharing, non-violence, cooperation, and respect.’
- ‘The Malton end has been beavering away furiously over the last few weeks and the Boulton & Cooper boardroom has been more like the trading floors of the Stock Exchange as opposed to a Land Agents office!’
- ‘The card showed a 19th century photograph of a young boy, no more than eight, stoking the furnace in a grimy workshop, surrounded by men beavering away along a production line.’
- ‘Workers in bright-yellow hard hats are beavering away, moving bucketloads of stones in wheelbarrows and trying to clear a pile of rubble with a digger.’
- ‘Any day now, I can just picture it, I'll nip down to them in the basement and they'll be beavering away at Two Gentlemen of Verona or A Midsummer Night's Dream.’
- ‘But maybe a PR system would encourage some of the old Labour figures to make a break or allow some new far-left formation to emerge - it would certainly encourage people to ‘do a Galloway’ rather than beaver away for change inside Labour.’
- ‘In Toronto neighbourhoods far from the downtown, a loose coalition of people has been beavering away to raise public concern about the city's proposed Official Plan.’
- ‘Holmes has been quietly beavering away for a while now, working his way up from semi-ambient dance to stuff like the new album, Free Association, which sounds not unlike a New York jazz club in hell.’
- ‘We're still working hard, closing teams down, and beavering away until we get a result.’
- ‘Orchard and his growing cadre of workers have been beavering away at the tough but always rewarding slog of organization ever since.’
- ‘Already, they have funding and building advisory committees in place, a business plan and promotional brochure in the pipeline and a project team beavering away on the project.’
- ‘In a house in Burley-in-Wharfedale a woman beavers away on her sewing machine in the early hours, surrounded by mountains of cloth.’
- ‘The committee beavers away trying to have everything right and trying to make ends meet.’
- ‘At the top, Julie of St Lucia is covering the two balloons with newspaper strips (while Spencer beavers away in the background).’
- ‘No, really, we've been working hard, beavering away while Jane, who normally occupies this slot, has sloped off on the piste in Les Alps.’
- ‘This weekend is a case in point, while much of Europe grinds to a halt, the Greeks are beavering away.’
- ‘Reality rolls on, however, and this age cohort got married, had kids, and bought houses, and so for the last number of decades has been unheard from while beavering away at the mortgage and tuition payments.’
- ‘I was just beavering away finishing the rest of the songs and almost ignoring what was going on - I didn't want to think about it because I was worried that I'd get writer's block immediately and just clam up.’
- ‘Mowbray says fielding trialists is one of the many ‘options’ being considered as he beavers away to bolster a fresh-faced squad with some well-kent faces.’
- ‘Back in the golden days of the space age, artists were beavering away in studios all over America creating visions of the future (a future that never came?).’
Old English beofor, befor, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch bever and German Biber, from an Indo-European root meaning ‘brown’.
The lower part of the face guard of a helmet in a suit of armor. The term is also used to refer to the upper part or visor, or to a single movable guard.
- ‘But the only sport was to behold him eat; for by reason his helmet was on, and his beaver lifted, he could put nothing into his mouth himself if others did not help him to find the way.’
- ‘The ghost wears the beaver, or visor, of the helmet raised.’
Late 15th century: from Old French baviere ‘bib’, from baver ‘slaver’.
1A woman's genitals or pubic area.
- 1.1offensive A woman.
- 1.1offensive A woman.
Early 20th century: of unknown origin.
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