string bean

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Alternative forms[edit]


string bean (plural string beans)

  1. Any long, slender green bean.
    • 1851 April 9, Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables, a Romance, Boston, Mass.: Ticknor, Reed, and Fields:
      Summer squashes almost in their golden blossom; cucumbers, now evincing a tendency to spread away from the main stock, and ramble far and wide; two or three rows of string-beans and as many more that were about to festoon themselves on poles;
    • 1963, Bob Dylan (lyrics and music), “Talkin' World War III Blues”, in The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan:
      Well, I rung the fallout shelter bell / And I leaned my head and I gave a yell / “Give me a string bean, I’m a hungry man” / A shotgun fired and away I ran
    1. A common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris)
    2. An immature runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus)
    3. A yardlong bean (Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis)
    4. A hyacinth bean (Lablab purpureus)
  2. (figuratively) A tall and thin person.
    • 1925, Sinclair Lewis, chapter 15, in Arrowsmith, New York: New American Library, published 1961:
      My way o’ doing things suits me, and I don’t figure on changing it for you or any other half-baked young string-bean.
    • 1969, Philip Roth, Portnoy's Complaint[1], New York: Vintage, published 1994, page 31:
      She was once a tall stringbean of a girl whom the boys called “Red” in high school.

Derived terms[edit]