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.
Related Idioms and Phrases :
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.
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.