Throw a monkey wrench into the works
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.
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