We don’t eat real beaver tails! A ‘beaver tail’ is a fried dough pastry flattened to look like a beaver tail! It was invented in 1978 by a Canadian company. The Beaver Tail stand (like the one in the second picture below) is at every Canadian festival and celebration!
This is what a beaver tail looks like:
It is delicious! You eat it while it’s still hot, and you can put all sorts of toppings on it: icing sugar, cinnamon, chocolate, fruit, etc.
When American president Obama visited Ottawa (the capital of Canada), he made a special trip to the local Byward Market just to try a beaver tail!
The beaver is the national symbol of Canada because it was an important part of Canadian history. European explorers sailed west across the Atlantic looking for another way to get to the East Indies and the spices that were plentiful there. When the explorers landed in North America, they didn’t find spices, but they found something just as lucrative: fur! The fur trade was extremely important to the development of Canada.
Beaver fur became sought-after in Europe as it was used to make hats and coats. Beaver glands were also used in medicines and perfumes. It was the demand for more fur that encouraged Europeans to explore the northern part of the continent…the part that eventually became Canada! European merchants traded with Native Americans for more fur.
Expressions with ‘beaver’
Beavers are known to be hard-working animals. They inspired two common expressions in English:
She’s as busy as a beaver! (=someone who is busy because they work hard!)
Wow! You’re at work early today. You must be an eager beaver! (someone who is hard-working and enthusiastic)
Also, in American slang ‘beaver’ refers to a woman’s ‘private parts’ (her vagina)! This is considered crude and is only used by young North American males.
= a mixture of water, flour, sugar + other ingredients used to bake cookies, cakes and other sweet desserts
= available in large amounts
= something that makes a lot of money
= wanted by a many people, usually because it’s expensive or hard to get.
= small organs in your body that produce various liquid chemical substances
= rude and offensive