Brass Monkey Weather
Monkey Idioms and Phrases
Those who are familiar with idioms know that they are a way to describe a situation in a concise and often pithy way. Words used in such a phrase should not be taken literally. When used in this way, their meaning is different than the definition of the words with a dictionary. We often use exaggerated language or claims to emphasize our point when using idioms.
Many idioms take their cue from the antics and characteristics associated with monkey behaviour. While many idiomatic expressions generally have negative undertones, monkey based phrases are more likely to express humour.
A Monkey on Your Back
Meaning: a phrase used to describe a situation where you have a persistent problem, or burden to bear.
Example sentence: "Trust me, you don't want to get into debt. You could do without that Monkey on your back."
- To Have a Monkey on One's Back
A burdensome problem.
Example: "I told him not to over-extend himself by buying that big house. It will be forever like a monkey on his back."
A way of saying that you should stop messing around. Be less silly, mischievous or deceitful.
To settle down and stop the monkey business.
Example sentence: "I told you that lawyer wasn't been straight with you. There is some monkey business going on here."
If you Pay Peanuts, you Get Monkeys
To way of saying that you only get what you pay for.
If you pay silly, low wages, then you are likely to only attract silly, or low skilled people.
So why the reference to Peanuts, I hear you say. Well, peanuts is a slang term for low wages. While monkeys is often used to refer to stupidity.
A way of describing a mechanic who works on automobiles or aircraft.
An example being: "I took my bike to see my usual grease monkey, he did a great job repairing it, as usual."
Monkeys are superior to men in this: when a monkey looks into a mirror, he sees a monkey.— Malcom De Chazal
Make a Monkey Out of Someone
Meaning: to make a person appear foolish, or silly.
Example sentence: "I don't enjoy being made a monkey of in front of my friends. Save your jokes for for another time when we don't have company."
Well I'll be a Monkeys Uncle!
Meaning: to be surprised by something that is very unlikely.
Example: "Well I'll be a monkey's uncle! The last thing I expected was for that lottery draw to have all my numbers."
- Monkeys Uncle
To express shock, surprise or incredulity
Example: "Well, I'll be a monkeys uncle! I didn't expect to see you here."
Funny As a Barrel of Monkeys
Meaning: to be extremely funny.
Example sentence: "Josh has me in fits giggles, he's as funny as a barrel of monkeys."
Not Give a Monkey's
Meaning: to say that you do not care about something at all.
Example sentence: "You can moan on about having to tidy your room. I do not give a monkey's how you feel about it."
Monkeys. What do you think about them?
Left Handed Monkey Wrench
Refers to a non-existent tool. Often used to tease someone who is new to a job or trade.
For instance: "I asked the new apprentice to get a left handed monkey wrench from the stores. When he brought it back, he still couldn't figure out why it looked identical to the right handed one I had. There's one born every minute..."
A way of saying that a person is in a situation that earns more abuse than the rewards otherwise expected or hoped for.
To illustrate: "The firm may well of promised you a good bonus for that last job, but let's face it. The reality is that it was only ever going to be worth a monkeys allowance."
More Hyperbolic Meanings From These Monkeys
Idioms tend to be hyperbolic in nature in that they are prone to over exaggerate their point in order to support their case.
- Monkey Knows no Ginger
To say that a person can't appreciate the significance or importance of something.
- Monkey Bite
Refers to a bite mark, blemish or mark left on the skin by a kiss.
To Monkey With Something
An idiom used to describe a person interfering or bothering with something or someone.
An example would be: "I told you not to do that! Stop monkeying around."
You Cheeky Monkey!
- Monkey See, Monkey Do
An idiom that means: To imitate someone. Children often copy - imitate the behaviours of their parents.
- Softly, Softly Catchee Monkey
A way of saying caution is the best way to achieve an end.
- Cheeky Monkey
A way of saying that someone is being playful or mischievous.
The name given to an explosives expert. The source of this idiom is from a nautical term. It was the name given to the person who used to carry gun powder from the ships magazine to the gun deck.
Monkey Idioms From BBC Learning - YouTube
We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.— Robert Wilensky, American Computer Scientist, 1951 - 2013
Clever, These Monkeys
- Monkey Tricks
Used to describe someone who is malicious or spiteful in their behaviour.
- To Get Ones Monkey Up
A way to say that someone is being annoyed or irritated. An example would be "Every time I try to relax in the garden, my neighbour insists on lighting a bonfire. He really gets my monkey up."
- As Clever as a Cartload of Monkeys
To be sly, impish or mischievous.
Example: "We need to keep that group of youngsters separated. Once they are all together they are as clever as a cartload of monkeys."
I'm Getting Restless - Like a Monkey on a Stick
- Like a Monkey on a Stick
To be restless and agitated. Refers to a child's toy which was made up of a monkey figure
able to slide up and down a stick as though climbing.
Example: "I wish you would sit still. Your up and down like a monkey on a stick."
- To Monkey Around
To behave in a silly manner.
A Monkey's Wedding
Used to describe a bright sunny day that encounters a shower of rain. This term originated in South Africa.
To illustrate: "It was a great day. Everyone had a wonderful time. The only downfall was that monkey's wedding of a shower that meant we had to retreat indoors for a few minutes."
Sometimes I Feel Like the Monkey in the Middle
- Monkey in the Middle
Originates from a game where two or more people keep a ball away from someone who is in the middle with the aim of catching the ball.
Example: "I'm trying as hard as I can to keep the peace between the the two of them, but honestly, they are such hard work. I feel like I'm just a monkey in the middle."
Meaning: an alcoholic beverage that is of poor quality or very unpleasant.
Monkeys in the Modern Era
- Monkey Script
A term used in computing. Describes a written procedure or script which a code writer follows.
- Code Monkey
A computer code writer who grinds out code, but who is unable or not required to work on higher status computing tasks. Usually said in a derogatory manner.
Enough of This Monkey Talk
- Monkey House
Often use as satire in describing a place where politicians gather.
- Organ Grinders Monkey
To be accused of doing the bidding for someone else.
- Monkey Talk
Distorted speech. Usually made with reference to a person under the influence of drugs.
- Like Butter on a Bald Monkey
To say something is very smooth indeed.