bee's knees


bee's knees
bee's knees 1923, a survivor of a fad around this year for slang terms denoting "excellence" and based on animal anatomy. Also existed in the more ribald form bee's nuts. Other versions that lasted through the century are cat's whiskers (1923), cat's pajamas, cat's meow. More obscure examples are canary's tusks, cat's nuts and flea's eyebrows. The fad still had a heartbeat in Britain at the end of the century, as attested by the appearance of dog's bollocks in 1989. Bee's knee was used as far back as 1797 for "something insignificant."

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • bee's knees — If something is the bee s knees, it s outstanding or the best in its class …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • bee's knees —    To say that someone/something is the bee s knees means that you think they are exceptionally good.     If you say Chloe thinks she s the bee s knees you mean that     Chloe has a high opinion of herself …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • bee's knees — noun the bee s knees informal + old fashioned : an excellent person or thing She s the bee s knees. [=I like her very much] …   Useful english dictionary

  • bee's knees — noun Something excellent, outstanding. We had strawberry shortcake for breakfast on Saturday and the kids thought it was the bee’s knees. Syn: cat’s meow, cat’s pajamas, cat’s pyjamas, cat’s whiskers, dogs bollocks, the shit …   Wiktionary

  • bee's knees — np Something excellent, outstanding. Mavis, that new perfume you got is the bee s knees! 1920s …   Historical dictionary of American slang

  • bee's Knees —    If something is the bee s knees, it s outstanding or the best in its class.   (Dorking School Dictionary) …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • Bee's Knees —   If something is the bee s knees, it s outstanding or the best in its class …   Dictionary of English idioms

  • bee's knees — noun Date: 1923 a highly admired person or thing ; cat s meow …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Bee's knees — …   Wikipedia

  • Bee's knees — the greatest …   Dictionary of Australian slang