In my time in London SE17, those so many years ago, I often came across Cockney rhyming slang for all sorts of things. For instance “Up the apples and pears to point Percy at the porcelain” for him and “Alice at the chalice” for her!
If it isn’t obvious, your wife’s endearing name in cockney slang is “Trouble and strife”! Has anyone ever said to you to “have a butchers” at something? You probably unthinkingly took a look, without realising that “Butcher’s hook” is the cockney rhyming slang for look! If what you were looking at was a jam jar, then it would have been a car!
My favourite is, needless to say, “Can I send my driver for a Gregory Peck?” (Cheque!)
If a deal was done and commission payable then a “Monkey” was £500 and a “Gorilla” £1000! If you use your imagination you might just picture one car shark demanding his Monkey or Gorilla from his counterpart!
In life one often runs into people who are natural story tellers, and this Whisky related Monkey story captured everyone at the dinner table, whilst celebrating a good friend’s birthday: Monkey Shoulder Whisky gets its name from the men who used to work long shifts in the distillery. They turn piles of barley by hand, and being very physical work, their arms would often hang down at their sides very much like a monkey’s does! Just as a tennis player can get tennis elbow, our whisky distillery worker would often get Monkey Shoulder! Further to our story teller’s snippet we were informed that, whisky distilleries use the wooden casks that once held varying wines and ports, to store their whisky for the number of years it is distilled! (These casks they obtain from wines producers around the world) Thank you Nicky! Nice snippet!
I’m sure there are many mothers out there, blessed with children who behave like little monkeys, who might often look at their offspring thinking that very thing! A description in Afrikaans for just such a child is klein aap, (little monkey, a direct translation)! These little monkeys would feel at home playing on the Monkey bars!
If you are ever referred to as a cheeky monkey, you must just know you are regarded as a smart arse, or know it all with an answer for everything! Probably a little monkey come of age!
Monkeyshines refer to tricky or foolish acts, something the little monkeys above might be busy with instead of their school work!
Speaking of acts, what about The Monkees from the Sixties, with Micky Dolenz on lead vocals, and the rest of the gang, Davy Jones, Peter Tork and Michael Nesmith, they had a string of hits like, The Last Train to Clarksville, and this one written by Neil Diamond: I’m a Believer:
When I was ten or eleven years old, my parents enrolled their little monkey into the Boys Institute in Wellington, NZ. The idea being, I’m sure, was to keep me busy in the swimming pool! Little monkeys being what they are, I was sidetracked and ended up monkeying around with the gymnastic rings in the gym! An apparatus that requires skills that were obviously beyond my abilities, I was punished with a broken wrist!
A plumber’s favourite tool is his monkey wrench, or stillson, which he uses to work with pipes! The Afrikaners like to be different and call this tool a bobbejaan spanner, (baboon spanner)!
Monkey gland steak, popular in South Africa refers to the scrumptious sauce that is concocted from ingredients such as, tomatoes, onions, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces, chutney etc. If you follow this link to the actual recipe, there you are assured that no monkeys are harmed in the making of the sauce!
Monkey see, monkey do, I come across every day in my life, and my industry, where technology changes every day and we are often learning as we go, having to adapt to new concepts and ideas!
Monkey business is when shady deals are afoot! South Africans in particular are used to hearing many stories of monkey business in the form of huge bribes being paid in return for favours!
I wonder who can remember this song: Carleton Carpenter and Debbie Reynolds singing Abba dabba Honeymoon (from Two Weeks with Love) from that special era of Musicals the 1950s (Two weeks with Love was released in 1950, a year before I bellowed for the first time):
St Vincent School For The Deaf where there is no time for monkeying around
Fulton School For The Deaf for the hard of hearing on the coast:
Abraham Kriel Childcare, caring while we are busy with our lives: