Why do they say freeze the balls off a brass monkey?

Why do they say freeze the balls off a brass monkey?

The story goes that cannonballs used to be stored aboard ship in piles, on a brass frame or tray called a ‘monkey’. In very cold weather the brass would contract, spilling the cannonballs: hence very cold weather is ‘cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey’.

What does the idiom brass monkey weather mean?

very cold weather
The phrase ‘Brass Monkey Weather’ refers to very cold weather that is extremely out of the ordinary; cold enough to freeze the tail, nose and ears of a brass monkey. Example of use: “According to Al Roker next week’s weather is going to be so cold, that it’ll be real brass monkey weather.”

How were cannonballs stored on ships?

The Royal Navy records show that cannonballs were not stored in pyramids on ship’s decks but instead in planks, and they were stored below deck when not in battle to keep them from rusting and jamming the cannons.

Where does the saying brass neck come from?

Primarily heard in UK. It’s beyond me how a brass neck like him could be appointed as a manager. verb To act with courageous self-confidence, especially in an audacious, impudent, or shameless manner. Primarily heard in UK.

What does brass neck come from?

From the notion of brass being hard and insensible (i.e. to shame). A brass neck may ultimately derive from the idea of hardness of brass as being resistant to a head being chopped off on the chopping block. Also neck (1893) = brass = boldness (‘bold as brass’), cheek, gall, impudence, etc.

Where does the expression brass neck come from?

What does cold as balls mean?

You hear it all the time but most guys then respond with; “My balls aren’t cold, so what the heck does cold as balls mean?” Cold as balls as it’s referred to in the urban dictionary suggests that Cold as Balls is; “Describing something that is so cold it makes your balls shrivel”.

Why is it called Monkey Island on ships?

Because the sailors had to climb as the monkeys do, this topmost place was termed as Monkey Island.

Why is it called the Monkey Island?

2) The Spencer family used to manage fishing in that stretch of the Thames in the 18th century. Local fishermen would come to the island and pay to fish. Even back then, money was colloquially known as ‘monkey’, hence ‘Monkey Island’, because if you were coming to the island, you were going to spend a lot of money.

What does Cheeky monkey mean?

‘Cheeky monkey’ is an expression we use when someone is being mischievous and playful. He is just being a cheeky monkey.” A group of monkeys huddled together.

What is monkey balancing?

This term refers to the decisions that animals make when they choose whether or not to avoid an area where the risk of predation is highest; weighing up the risk of attack against the possible rewards to be found there.

What does it mean to freeze the balls off a brass monkey?

To freeze the balls off a brass monkey means it is very cold. Early references to brass monkeys in the 19th century have no references to balls at all, but instead variously say that it is cold enough to freeze the tail, nose, ears and whiskers off a brass monkey; or hot enough to scald the throat or singe the hair of a brass monkey.

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Why do cannonballs fall off in cold weather?

In very cold weather the metal shrank, causing the stack to fall down. Frigid, extremely cold. This term, already known by 1835, comes from naval warfare, in the days when cannonballs were stacked in pyramid form on brass trays called “monkeys.” In cold weather the metal would contract and the balls fall off.