Monkey Idioms


A monkey on back: An idiom used to refer to a problem that you cannot let go. It’s simply an issue that you can’t seem to surpass and will not go away no matter how much effort you put into it. A serious annoyance.

Barrel of monkeys: A group of people that seem to having a good time and partying. Think of an actual barrel filled with our simian friends. It looks ridiculous and they’re having silly fun regardless of appearances.

Brass monkey weather: Really, really cold weather that makes you want to stay home and do nothing. You won’t see this idiom much in the United States; it’s more of a British thing to say.

You never monkey with the truth.


Cheeky monkey: A naughty person. This is not actually an insult and is usually said in a playful way.

Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey: An impolite way of saying that the weather is really damn cold.

If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys: A way of saying that only foolish people will work for someone who pays almost nothing.

Make a monkey of: Making someone seem foolish.

Monkey around: To waste time and wander around doing absolutely nothing. Generally being unproductive and not contributing at all.

Monkey suit: Tuxedo.

Monkey swill: Strong liquor, usually of poor quality.

Monkey wagon: Another way of saying “drug addction”.

Monkey’s uncle: This means something that is impossible. It’s a play on Charles Darwin’s evolution theory.

Monkey fart: Wasting time (think of a simian farting around; not exactly the most productive thing).

The surest way to make a monkey of a man is to quote him.

Throw a monkey wrench in the works: The act of causing problems to the well-laid plans of another organization or individual.

Words that start with Monkey

Monkeyed: Past tense of the verb monkey. To behave in a playful and slightly mischievous way.

Monkeying: Gerund of the same verb.

Monkeyish: Like a monkey; having the characteristics of our simian friends. Can be used as an insult or in a playful way.

Monkeypod: A specific type of tree.

A million shakespeares.

Monkeypot: Another tree.

Monkeyshine: An American saying that means mischievous.