put a (monkey) wrench in(to) the works(redirected from put a monkey wrench into the works)
put a (monkey) wrench in(to) the works
To disrupt, foil, or cause problems to a plan, activity, or project. Primarily heard in US. We had everything in line for the party, but having the caterer cancel on us at the last minute really threw a wrench in the works! It'll really put a monkey wrench into the works if the board decides not to increase our funding for this project.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
monkey wrench in the works, put/throw a
Sabotage an operation or plan. The monkey wrench, called an “adjustable spanner” in Britain, appears to have reminded someone of a monkey’s jaws, which loosely resemble the sliding jaws of this very useful tool. This name was acquired about the middle of the nineteenth century. It was not until the early twentieth century that it became associated with sabotage. This suggestion first appeared in print in 1920 in Philander Johnson’s story, Shooting Stars: “Don’t throw a monkey-wrench into the machinery!” The locution not only caught on in America but was adopted in Britain as well, although in the form of throw a spanner in the works.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
- put a spanner in(to) the works
- put/throw a spanner in the works
- throw a monkey wrench in(to) (something)
- throw a monkey wrench into
- throw a spanner in the works
- throw a spanner in(to) the works
- throw a wrench into the works
- throw a (monkey) wrench in(to) the works
- throw a monkey wrench in the works
- put a spoke in someone's wheel