Monkey see(s), monkey do(es), 1901, 1893

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Tue Nov 19 18:53:54 UTC 2013

On Tue, Nov 19, 2013 at 10:47:08AM -0800, Neal Whitman wrote:
> Someone on Facebook asked me why the expression is "Monkey see,
> monkey do" instead of "Monkey sees, monkey does." Doing a bit of
> research for a possible Visual Thesaurus column, I found  this 2004 ADS-L
> message dating the expression to 1922:
> I have also found "monkey see, monkey do" from 1901 via Google
> Books, in an issue of the Seamen's Friend magazine:


Note that OED has an example from 1895.

Jesse Sheidlower

The American Dialect Society -

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