brass monkey

brass monkey

used in various phrases to refer to extremely cold weather.

Brass monkey comes from the mid 20th-century vulgar slang expression : cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey – the origin of which has been debated. One suggestion relates it to brass trays known as monkeys on which cannon balls were once stowed aboard warships.

1994 - Camping Magazine - David will be doing his best to show you how to keep warm under canvas even if the temperature outside has dipped to brass monkey level.

Related Idioms and Phrases :

the brass ring

success, especially as a reward for ambition or hard work - North American informal

This phrase refers to the reward of a free ride on a merry-go-round given to the person who succeeds in hooking a brass ring suspended over the horses.

brass neck

cheek or effrontery - informal

get down to brass tacks

start to consider the essential facts or practical details reach the real matter in hand – informal

1932 - T. S. Eliot Sweeney Agonistes - That's all the facts when you come to brass tacks : Birth and copulation and death.

not a brass farthing

no money or assets at all – informal

part brass rags with

quarrel and break off a friendship with

brass monkey :

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