brass monkeys

brass monkeys

Extremely cold, usually regarding the weather. Taken from the semi-vulgar phrase, "cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey," or its derivative, "brass monkey weather." Primarily heard in UK. Cor, it's brass monkeys out there tonight!
See also: brass, monkey
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

ˌbrass ˈmonkeys


ˌbrass ˈmonkey weather

(British English, slang) if you say that it is brass monkeys or brass monkey weather, you mean that it is very cold weather: Wear a hat — it’s brass monkeys out there!The full expression is ‘cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey’, although this is not often used. It may refer to a brass rack called a monkey which was used to store cannonballs. When it was very cold, the brass contracted (= got smaller) and the balls fell off.
See also: brass, monkey
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Their website states: "The Brass Monkeys are an ad hoc group of artist/activists who try and raise issues, local and national, through the medium of bench plaques.
THE weather has been cold enough for brass monkeys to be fearful.
'They're excited, but a bit nervous' Brass Monkeys Pole Dancing Studio Six performers from the Speke studio donned burlesque themed outfits and brought along chairs for their routine.
BRASS MONKEYS Resident at Wales Ape and Monkey Sanctuary
A great AFTER a nightmare eight hour drive through blizzards, multiple accidents and diversions, the sun shone on the Cotswolds yesterday, but with it, a wind that would have brass monkeys chattering in falsetto voices.
Farewell to brass monkeys It is as welcome to take out the winter coat in October as it is to put it away in March.
71 Degrees North (ITV1 Wales, Tuesday, 9pm) * OKAY, so I admit that watching Gavin Henson nearly turn into fake-tanned popsicle in the middle of the frozen Arctic tundra provided a rather large amount of watchability for the last series of this brass monkeys reality show.
IT'S usually brass monkeys at this time of year so the chimps at Twycross Zoo had plenty of reasons to smile in the unseasonable heat.
"Kate's home is in the middle of nowhere - and it does get very brass monkeys when you are out guarding the front gate," the Sun quoted a Thames Valley Police source as saying.
Ten degrees of frost just coming out of the ground, brass monkeys gave in it was that cold and a slimy two inch covering of mud, making life and limb vulnerable to the long distance sliding tackle.
BRITAIN will shiver on the coldest day of the year today - as temperatures plunge to a brass monkeys MINUS 10C.
SIR - It must be August, the time when such headlines as 'The world will end in three million years' time - prepare now' or 'World due to freeze over - see to your brass monkeys now', appear in the press.
But it has also become a freewheeling conversation about the communication profession, where you can get the best BBQ, how to find the job you really want, brass monkeys, maritime piracy and more.
Brass monkeys would have blanked the game (for fear of ending up like a futuristic Justin Bieber tribute act), but I was glad to see the Aberdeen brass band out in force.