Another slang term for the area between a woman's legs. It's slightly less offensive than snizz or twat and certainly better than that word, but it's by no means polite; you wouldn't want your mother to hear you use it in that context. The word is unusual in that it's only used to refer to genitalia with ample pubic hair; in fact, it sometimes refers to the pubic hair alone. (Both of these meanings make sense, given that a beaver is a fuzzy critter.) The term has become less frequent as the removal of pubic hair has become more and more common, but it does appear in several phrases:

Beaver cleaver. The penis (the etymology is obvious).

Split beaver, wide-open beaver. Deprecated terms for the "spread shot" in pornographic magazines, in which a woman is spreading her legs to reveal the inner labia, clitoris and vaginal opening. Kurt Vonnegut uses these phrases in at least one of his novels.

It was also used as a joke in the movie Naked Gun. Jane is looking for something on top of a bookcase. She climbs up on a tall ladder. Frank Drebin (played by Leslie Nielsen), is watching from below and has a perfect view up her skirt.

"Nice beaver!" he says approvingly...

...at which point, of course, she hands him a rodent-like mammal on a stand.

"Thanks," she says coyly. "I just had it stuffed."

The European beaver is alive and well
OR
What version of Google do you use?

I was reading a recent factual writeup in this node in which the statement was made:

. . . and as the European beaver was hunted to extinction . . .”

A bit further I read:

”Most fortunately, unlike the European beaver, the North American beaver managed to survive. . . “

Hey! Whoa! Since when has the European beaver been extinct?

I lived in Europe until a few years ago. I often saw beaver and thought nothing of it other than, “Oh, that splash was a beaver that dove into the water just now!” This was in the Rhône Valley of southern France and I was walking in the wildlife preserve that encompasses the 53 kilometer CNR barge canal in the Drôme/Vaucluse region. The beaver, known in France as a “castor”, was one of the protected animals in the preserve.

Puzzled, I turned to the French version of Google. Amazing what can be found in a search for “castor”.

There were a few false starts. Castor, (Alpha Geminorum), 20th brightest star in the sky, linked with Pollux, both being twin warriors of classic mythology. Castor is also “an Open Source data binding framework for Java”. And there is the castor bean which grows in Africa. Poisonous, but not a beaver.

One German site looked interesting, mainly because of a photo of some rather beefy nude Germans in what appeared to be a protest parade. The French translation of the German text showed it had nothing to do with beaver, but concerned the dumping of nuclear waste materials in northern Germany. The Germans tend to get rather passionate about that subject.

One more false start with the site "Le Castor" which proved to be the name of a clothing company specializing in masculine undergarments. Some nice photos of the male body, French in this case, but – again – no dark, furry animals.

Finally, pay dirt! Bienvenue sur le site de Castor et Homme , a website devoted to an association studying the effects of the co-existance of beaver and mankind in the French departments of Drôme and Ardèche. Photographs of beavers, beaver dams, and beaver lodges. Another website, this one for children, quoting Microsoft Encyclopedia and indicating that both species, Castor Canadensis (North America) and Castor fiber (Europe), are to be found in today’s French rivers and lakes.

A bit further on was a Swiss website, Pro Castor, detailing the work of an organization establishing ecopassages in the bottom land of the Orbe region just northwest of Lausanne. Further research shows that most countries in Europe have successfully reintroducing beaver.

This reintroduction has been taking place since the 1960's. If the beaver population of Europe is not as great as that of North America, it is doubtlessly due to the fact that Europe has a much denser human population than does Canada and the northern parts of the United States where beaver are found in abundance in heavily forested areas. The European beaver has a much more limited habitat but it is far from being extinct.

Sources:
www.astro.uiuc.edu/~kaler/sow/castor.html
http://www/castor/org
www.castor.d/13french.html
http://www.lecastor.com/media.php
http://www.castorethomme.org/index.html
www.montoutou.com/Castor.htm
http://darwin.cyberscol.qc.ca/Expo/Zoo/Fiches/Castor.htm
http://www.procastor.ch/membres.htm



Apr 14, 2005   :   Update: The above-mentioned writeup has been corrected. Thanks.

Bea"ver (?), n. [OE. bever, AS. beofer, befer; akin to D. bever, OHG. bibar, G. biber, Sw. bafver, Dan. baever, Lith. bebru, Russ. bobr', Gael. beabhar, Corn. befer, L. fiber, and Skr. babhrus large ichneumon; also as an adj., brown, the animal being probably named from its color. 253. See Brown.]

1. Zool.

An amphibious rodent, of the genus Castor.

⇒ It has palmated hind feet, and a broad, flat tail. It is remarkable for its ingenuity in constructing its lodges or "houses," and dams across streams. It is valued for its fur, and for the material called castor, obtained from two small bags in the groin of the animal. The European species is Castor fiber, and the American is generally considered a variety of this, although sometimes called Castor Canadensis.

2.

The fur of the beaver.

3.

A hat, formerly made of the fur of the beaver, but now usually of silk.

A brown beaver slouched over his eyes. Prescott.

4.

Beaver cloth, a heavy felted woolen cloth, used chiefly for making overcoats.

Beaver rat Zool., an aquatic ratlike quadruped of Tasmania (Hydromys chrysogaster). -- Beaver skin, the furry skin of the beaver. -- Bank beaver. See under 1st Bank.

 

© Webster 1913.


Bea"ver, n. [OE. baviere, bauier, beavoir, bever; fr. F. baviere, fr. bave slaver, drivel, foam, OF., prattle, drivel, perh. orig. an imitative word. Baviere, according to Cotgrave, is the bib put before a (slavering) child.]

That piece of armor which protected the lower part of the face, whether forming a part of the helmet or fixed to the breastplate. It was so constructed (with joints or otherwise) that the wearer could raise or lower it to eat and drink.

 

© Webster 1913.

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