the organ grinder's monkey

organ grinder's monkey

One who acts for or does the bidding of someone much more powerful. Following the announcement, many are accusing the prime minister of being an organ grinder's monkey for the US president. Don't hurl abuse at these companies' PR representatives; they're just the organ grinders' monkeys, after all.
See also: monkey, organ

the organ grinder's monkey

BRITISH
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, organ
References in periodicals archive ?
This will be the second time that Ifans has featured in work by the Turner-nominated Chapman brothers, having previously starred in their graphic, surreal short film the Organ Grinder's Monkey.
It was about just who should be the organ grinder's monkey.
The organ grinder's monkey, Shadow Home Secretary Ann Widdecombe, says that anyone who is stopped and searched by the police should feel an inner glow of happiness.
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