cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey

cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey

rude Extremely cold, usually said of the weather. Though often believed to refer to so-called "brass monkeys" of a naval ship (brass trays where cannonballs were supposedly stored), this has been widely discredited as anachronistic; it is more likely a semi-vulgar reference to bronze replicas of the Three Wise Monkeys (i.e., "Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil") often sold as popular tourist souvenirs in China and Japan. I wouldn't want to be trapped out in this weather tonight, it's cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey!

cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey

BRITISH, INFORMAL
People say it's cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey when the weather is extremely cold. I went into a house this morning that was cold enough to freeze the balls off of a brass monkey. Note: You can also use brass monkey before nouns such as weather or day. It's been real brass monkey weather this week. Note: A brass monkey was a plate on a warship's deck on which cannon balls were stacked. In very cold weather the metal shrank, causing the stack to fall down.