Throw a monkey wrench into the works

Previous Page

Throw a monkey wrench into the works : Phrases


To interfere with a smoothly running operation; to upset something in progress.


George's 50-year old wife
threw a monkey wrench into his retirement plans - she announced that she was pregnant.


In 1856 a tool was invented by a man named Monk, called a Monk’s wrench. Later the name was changed to
monkey wrench. The sliding jaw of the tool reminded people of a monkey, and the nickname stuck. This American saying presents the image of someone throwing a monkey wrench into machinery that’s working perfectly and gumming up the works.

Phrases Index

From Throw to HOME PAGE