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mis-understood sayings

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Old 15th April 2004, 21:22
Neil_Caple
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Quote:
Originally posted by ANDY-J2
I had heard of this but my understanding was that water would freeze in the "brass monkey" and when it melted the balls would fall off.
In that case the balls would fall off after it started to warm up again. Hardly brass monkey weather then.

The contracting brass squeezing the balls out is a far more likely explanation, I think.
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Old 16th April 2004, 11:24
ANDY-J2 ANDY-J2 is offline
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I had assumed that the expanding ice would push the balls apart and cause them to roll off.In fact the naval origin of the phrase is uncertain,although the explanation above is the most popular version-apparently most "monkeys" were made of wood as brass was quite an expensive commodity.Another popular source for some common modern day phrases are old fashioned fire-arms-for example the phrase lock,stock and barrel.And if one were loading a musket and had forgotten to put a ball in the barrel you would end up with a flash in the pan.Or if the lock which held the flint were not fully pulled back you may not get a spark to ignite the powder so you would be going off half cocked.
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Old 16th April 2004, 11:56
Marti33 Marti33 is offline
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Unhappy you want to hear

yersels. Talk about anal!!
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Old 16th April 2004, 12:17
alanmckechnie alanmckechnie is offline
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One small problem with ice theory!!!! A brass monkey does not hold water!!!!
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Old 16th April 2004, 14:11
Artoo Artoo is offline
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"Not enough room to swing a cat" - the cat-o-nine-tails, that is, the punishment whip. Likewise, 'cat out of the bag'. More naval stuff (including brass monkeys) at:

http://www.royal-navy.mod.uk/static/pages/4741.html
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Old 16th April 2004, 18:55
Neil_Caple
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It appears, from their website, that the Royal Navy thinks the Treaty and Acts of Union came into effect in 1801. Nice to know an arm of the UK Government is so well versed in the history of the UK.

Jeeze! I've just noticed they thing Denmark has a King (it has a Queen) and the King of Norway is called Olav. Olav died about 10 years ago!!!
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Old 16th April 2004, 20:59
alanmckechnie alanmckechnie is offline
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For all those who are interested in this thread and would like to keep it friendly I have created a new one with similar name and have copied all relevant posts into it.

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