Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-13-2012, 07:03 AM
Colophon Colophon is offline
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Hampshire, England
Posts: 13,364
A bean, a bean, a half a bean...

"A bean, a bean, a half a bean, a bean and a half and a bean." I found my wife singing this at our daughter the other day, and seeing me go she explained that that was how many beans make five, of course.

Of course. But where the heck does it come from? I've Googled and found lots of examples with slightly different wordings, but no explanation of the origin. Any ideas, and has anyone else heard of this?
Old 06-13-2012, 07:13 AM
Novelty Bobble Novelty Bobble is online now
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: South East England
Posts: 6,801
I have no idea, but I recall my sergeant in DLI cadets teaching it to us aged 14 as we walked across the Cumbrian moors.

Except I was taught.....

"two beans, half a bean, two half-beans a bean and a half-bean" YBMV of course.
Old 06-13-2012, 08:52 AM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Slithering on the hull
Posts: 25,908
Makes me think of Eric the half a bee.

"Half a bee, philosophically, must ipso facto half not be. But half the bee has got to be, vis--vis its entity - d'you see? But can a bee be said to be or not to be an entire bee when half the bee is not a bee, due to some ancient injury?"
Sorry, that's all I've got.


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:46 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to:

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to:

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017