Eager beaver is an idiom that may not be as old as you think. We will examine the meaning of the expression eager beaver, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.
The idiom eager beaver refers to someone who is enthusiastic and industrious, someone who goes above and beyond what is expected of them or desired of them. The idiom eager beaver usually carries a connotation of being overzealous and may imply a slight air of condescension or ridicule, but not always. It is usually used in reference to a child or a subordinate. The phrase eager beaver first appeared in the 1940s and is a near rhyme. A near rhyme is one in which two words almost rhyme. The beaver is an animal that is well known for being hard-working and industrious. It is featured in a popular simile, busy as a beaver. A simile is a phrase used in a sentence that is a comparison of one thing with something else using the word like or the word as. The plural form of eager beaver is eager beavers.
An eager beaver on his first field assignment, he gets caught in all his own booby traps, and manages to electrocute himself, set himself on fire, get a bucket stuck on his head, and lock himself in his own handcuffs. (Thorold News)
I was an eager beaver right out of college, and if I was told to fax something I wanted to be the best faxer in the world. (Reuters)
Pizano will play Moses Hernandez, an eager beaver with a hero complex. (Variety Magazine)
Apte, in his late 80s today and who continued to play senior level club cricket till his mid 60s, told us eager beavers that, “He had never forgotten that lesson all his life.” (Asian Age)