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Origin of jellybean

An Americanism dating back to 1900–05; jelly + bean Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for jellybean


  1. a bean-shaped sweet with a brightly coloured coating around a gelatinous filling
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for jellybean

1905, from jelly (n.) + bean (n.). So called for its shape. Soon used in U.S. slang for "stupid person," probably encouraged by the slang sense of bean as "head."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper