[Ads-l] "Monkey this up"

Bonnie Taylor-Blake b.taylorblake at GMAIL.COM
Wed Aug 29 11:24:13 EDT 2018

This morning on Fox News, Ron DeSantis -- the Trump-endorsed Republican
candidate for Governor of Florida -- said this about an upcoming race with
Andrew Gillum, Democratic candidate for Governor.

“Let’s build off the success we’ve had under Gov. [Rick] Scott. The last
thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist
agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state. That is not gonna
work. That’s not gonna be good for Florida.”


I'll politely inquire: what on earth was DeSantis going for with "to monkey
this up"? Is "monkey up" an established idiom in American English? A
synonym for "muck up"? Did DeSantis somehow muck up "monkey around [with]"?

Of course, the kicker is that DeSantis is white and Gillum is black. In the
absence of a good explanation for his use of "monkey up," DeSantis's
construction sounds like racist rhetoric.

-- Bonnie

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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