[Ads-l] "Monkey this up"

Jacob Appelbaum jappelbaum123 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Aug 29 12:40:18 EDT 2018

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary has this usage of the verb:
1: to act in a grotesque or mischievous manner
2a : fool <https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fool>, trifle
<https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/trifle> —often used with

   - he likes to monkey around with engines

b : tamper <https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tamper> —usually
used with *with*

   - don't monkey with the settings

A number of the other online dictionaries provide the idiom "To Monkey
2) https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/monkey%20around
3) https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/monkey+around

The wiktionary provides the following quote from Kipling's *The Jungle Book*:
"*I wanna be a man, man-cub and stroll right into town and be just like the
other men I'm tired of monkeying around"* - The Jungle Book

In addition, the Monkees were notorious for their reputation as a band that
would "Monkey around."

On Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 11:24 AM Bonnie Taylor-Blake <
b.taylorblake at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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.”
> (From
> https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/henrygomez/ron-desantis-andrew-gillum-monkey-florida-governor
> )
> 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

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

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