mess around with something mess about with something

mess around (with something) mess about (with something)

and monkey around (with something)
in. to play with or fiddle with something. You’ll break it if you don’t stop monkeying around with it.
See also: around, mess, something

mess around with something mess about with something

verb
See also: around, mess, something
References in classic literature ?
Commerce was at a standstill; our master passed half his time under arms, as a national guard, in order to keep the revolutionists from revolutionizing the revolution.
He received a salary on the staff of the National Guard, where he held a sinecure which was paid for by the city of Paris; he was government commissioner to a secret society; and filled a position of superintendence in the royal household.
The peerage without heredity; the National Guard, which puts on the same camp-bed the corner grocer and the marquis; the abolition of the entails demanded by a bourgeois lawyer; the Catholic Church deprived of its supremacy; and all the other legislative inventions of August, 1830,--were to du Bousquier the wisest possible application of the principles of 1793.