the organ grinder's monkey
the organ grinder's monkeyBRITISH
If you call someone the organ grinder's monkey, you mean that they are doing what a powerful person wants them to do, but have no real power themselves. He's the organ grinder's monkey, his only role in life to get money for his boss. Note: People use the terms organ grinder and monkey in many different structures to mean the powerful person and the person who does what they want. Why bother with monkeys when you can deal with the organ grinder? Some will say that I focus too much attention on the monkey, whilst allowing the organ grinder to get off free. Note: This expression is often used to show a lack of respect for both of the people you are talking about, but especially for the `monkey'. Note: In former times, organ grinders were street entertainers who played barrel organs. Sometimes they had a monkey that performed to the music.
See also: monkey