Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 09:53:28 -0600 From: wachal robert s Subject: Re: How cold was it? The origin of the brass monkey phrase is not entirely relevant anymore than the fact that "transpire" originally had something to do with plant membranes. When I was gowing up in Fargo ND many years ago, we called our region the "Nortwest" in a misguided attempt to placate the geographical ignorance of easterners who labelled us that way. One night when temperatures were forecast to drop below minus 20, a radio announcer began his 10 o'clock broadcast with "People all over the Northwest are taking in their brass monkeys tonight." Everone knew the expression "Cold enought to freexe the balls/nuts off a brass monkey." We also knew "Cold enough to freeze a well-diggers nuts," which was euphemized as "Cold enough to freeze a well-diggers knuckels." So Barbara Harris, you were right the first time. Bob Wachal On Wed, 10 Dec 1997, Norman Roberts wrote: > >My understanding of the phrase, "It's cold enough to freeze the balls on a > >brass monkey" is that the monkey is a triangle made of brass upon which cannon > >balls were stacked. When it got cold enough, the balls would freeze on the > >brass monkey. > >Nothing to do with the little guy's anatomy. > > > >David R. Carlson > >Springfield College > >Springfield MA > > However, in the frozen north, at least when I lived there long ago, there > was the expression "cold enough to freeze the balls OFF a brass monkey." > As I recall, it was also "colder than a well digger's arse in January." > > And here in Hawaii right now it is "long sleeve days and two blanket nights." > > Aloha e > > N >