Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 17:41:53 -0500
From: Gerald Cohen gcohen[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UMR.EDU
Subject: "Cool beans!"

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