a monkey on back


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a monkey on your back

a serious problem that you cannot forget When you know you have to do everything perfectly, it puts a giant monkey on your back.
Usage notes: also used in the form get the monkey off your back (to end a problem): By winning the championship, this team has finally got the monkey off its back.
Etymology: based on an earlier meaning of a monkey on your back (a habit of using an illegal drug)
See also: back, monkey, on

a monkey on somebody's back

  (American & Australian)
a serious problem that will not go away The divorce proceedings are a monkey on her back.
See also: back, monkey, on