monkey on (one's) back

(redirected from monkey on his back)

monkey on (one's) back

A persistent burden or problem. Trust me, don't get in debt. You don't want that monkey on your back.
See also: back, monkey, on

monkey on one's back

1. Drug addiction, as in He'd had a monkey on his back for at least two years. [Slang; first half of 1900s]
2. A vexing problem or burden, as in This project has proved to be a monkey on my back-there seems to be no end to it. Both usages allude to being unable to shake off the animal from one's back.
See also: back, monkey, on

a monkey on your back

JOURNALISM
If you have a monkey on your back, you have a problem, often an emotional problem, that makes your life difficult for a long period. They haven't beaten United in three years and it's a monkey on their backs that they are desperate to shake off. Note: You can also say that you get the monkey off your back, meaning that you manage to end the problem. I'm just delighted to win and get the monkey off our back with a home victory at last. Note: `To have a monkey on your back' originally meant to be angry. Later it came to be used to say that someone was addicted to drugs; it is still used in this way today.
See also: back, monkey, on

monkey on one's back

1. An addiction to a drug.
2. An object of persistent worry or obsession.
See also: back, monkey, on