[Ads-l] "Monkey this up"

Andy Bach afbach at GMAIL.COM
Thu Aug 30 16:02:00 EDT 2018

> I would have just thought it was a normal mash-up, intentional or not, of
"muck up" and "throw a monkey in the works".

We used "a monkey wrench" when throwing in things mess up the process.
Yes, and I know it's named for it's inventor ... or maybe I don't
It has been suggested that the *monkey *in *monkey wrench* is an alteration
(folk etymology) of the inventor’s name, a certain Charles Moncky of
Baltimore who allegedly invented it 1858. Unfortunately for this
explanation, the term is British in origin and predates Moncky by some

I always thought a pipe wrench sort of looked a bit like a monkey.

On Thu, Aug 30, 2018 at 2:56 PM Peter Reitan <pjreitan at hotmail.com> wrote:

> In the full video he says, basically, that Gillum is too liberal Florida,
> and then says:
> "I think he has huge problems with how he's governed Tallahassee, but he
> is an articulate spokesman for those far-left views, and he's a charismatic
> candidate.  And I watched those Democratic debates and none of that is my
> cup of tea, but he performed better than the other people there, so we've
> got to work hard to keep Florida going in a good direction.  Let's build
> off the success we've had on Governor Scott.  The last thing we need to do
> is to monkey this thing up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with
> huge tax increases and bankrupting the state.  That's not going to work,
> it's not good for Florida."
> So clearly, he thinks that switching Florida from what he sees as sound,
> conservative fiscal leadership under Governor Scott to some "far-left"
> socialist mode of governance would "monkey up" their successful economy.
> I've never heard the expression before, and I would have just thought it
> was a normal mash-up, intentional or not, of "muck up" and "throw a monkey
> in the works".  He was speaking very fast, with barely a pause between
> sentences, so it wouldn't have been the most surprising thing in the world
> to "monkey up" an idiom or two.
> But it is interesting that the expression is out there, and apparently
> people use or have used it to mean the same thing.
> So what is more likely, that a candidate used a normal, innocent,
> race-neutral idiom in a conventional, race-neutral manner, or that a white
> candidate squaring off against a black candidate in the deep-south thought
> that his racist followers were so stupid that they needed him to use a
> coded dog-whistle to realize that they should vote against a black man,
> even though anyone who is open to being swayed by such a dog-whistle
> probably wouldn't vote for that black man in the first place, especially
> when most of those voters would likely never have thought of voting for a
> liberal, socialist-type in the first place?
> And as far as "articulate spokesman for those far left views," he wasn't
> saying "he's an articulate black man", he was saying he did a better job of
> articulating those kinds of views in a debate with other candidates, and
> that may be why he won.
> Joe Biden called Obama the "first, sort of main stream African American
> who is articulate and bright and clean and nice looking guy."  Clearly he
> didn't misspeak, and he was drawing a specific connection between race and
> "articulate".   And Obama selected him as his running mate.
> ________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of
> Stephen Goranson <goranson at DUKE.EDU>
> Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2018 1:38 AM
> Subject: Re: "Monkey this up"
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Stephen Goranson <goranson at DUKE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: "Monkey this up"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I'm not familiar with Ron DeSantis nor his typical speech history. When I
> l=
> istened to the Fox video, there seemed to be a cut or edit between the
> part=
>  in which he called Gillum "articulate" and the part where he used
> "monkey.=
> " Does anyone have the full transcript? I wonder if there was a
> "but"--high=
>  praise but low prospects--divider?
> And has anyone brought up Biden in 2007:
> "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate
> an=
> d bright and clean and a nice-looking guy," Biden said. "I mean, that's a
> s=
> torybook, man." (Without a "but"?)
> SG
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org



Andy Bach,
afbach at gmail.com
608 658-1890 cell
608 261-5738 wk

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list