“To be more catholic than the Pope” vs. “eager beaver”

According to The Free Dictionary:

Eager beaver: One that is exceptionally, often excessively industrious or zealous


To be more catholic than the Pope: To adhere more stringently to Roman Catholic practices and doctrine than is required by church doctrine; – usually used in a negative sense to mean, to be excessively pious.

We Persians use the second expression equal to the Persian expression which is: A bowl which is hotter than the soup that means a person who cares to the others business specially instead of people who are responsible about more than them or more than his/her own business.

So I want to know is it correct to consider two above expressions as synonyms or equal to each other or not?


Eager beaver and more catholic than the Pope are nowhere near synonyms.

The Free Dictionary definition may be misleading when it says an eager beaver is often excessively industrious. The term is often used approvingly, or with no particular value judgement implied. But more importantly, eager beaver can be applied to anyone who’s keen to get on with anything. I imagine it owes most of its currency to the alliteration.

On the other hand, more Catholic than the Pope is always pejorative and/or exaggerated, and never applies to anything other than a person’s (specifically, Catholic) religious faith (although there is the closely-related rhetorical question “Is the Pope a Catholic?”, light-heartedly meaning “Definitely yes!).

Source : Link , Question Author : Persian Cat , Answer Author : FumbleFingers

Leave a Comment