Date: Mon, 30 Mar 1998 08:42:43 -0500
From: Gerald Cohen gcohen[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UMR.EDU
Subject: Re: "Cool beans!"

X-From_: felle001[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] Sun Mar 29 21:54:22 1998
Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 21:54:18 -0600 (CST)
From: Anna M Fellegy felle001[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]
To: Gerald Cohen gcohen[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]
Subject: Re: "Cool beans!"
MIME-Version: 1.0

I have heard "cool beans" since the late 70s in Minnesota but never in
response to the question "how are you." Here it means "great" or "that's
cool." For instance:

Statement: The Gophers won the NIT.
Response: Cool beans!

No clue as to the origin, however.

Anna Fellegy
Dept. of English
University of Minnesota

On Sun, 29 Mar 1998, Gerald Cohen wrote:

I was recently asked about a teenage slang expression that I had never
previously heard: "Cool beans!" Several of my students are familiar with it
and agree it's been around for at least 8 years. They regard it as a
synonym of "Cool!"

I don't find this expression in RHHDAS, but it appears in Tom Dalzell's
_Flappers 2 Rappers_, (subtitle): _American Youth Slang_, p.178: "The
1970s and 1980s... COOL BEANS!--I'm doing great! [Then in italics] This
expression was always used as a response to the question, "How are you?"
regardless of the form in which the question was asked."

Does anyone have any idea about the origin of this expression? In
particular, why "beans"?

--Gerald Cohen


My thanks to Ms. Fellegy for this response.