Date: Wed, 4 Sep 1996 20:39:35 -0500
From: Mark Mandel Mark[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]DRAGONSYS.COM
Subject: Monkey business for Lynne -Reply
Margaret Ronkin ronkinm[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]gusun.acc.georgetown.edu 0904.1743
I'd venture to guess that in this context monkey = liquor bottle,
although there are other possibilities.
Beale's (1984:748) _Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional
(1) as a second sense of "monkey" (c. 1867): "a 'vessel' i.e. a container
in which a mess receives its full amount of grog" (as in "suck the
(1) appears to be of nautical origin. According to Farmer's and
Henley's (1965:335) _Slang and Its Analogues_, "to suck the monkey"
means: (a) "to drink rum out of cocoa-nuts, emptied of milk and filled with
spirits"; (b) "to [drink] liquor from a cask through a gimlet hole with a
straw", and (c) "to drink from the [whisky] bottle".
I've a strong hunch that (a) is the original sense of "suck the monkey".
The best way to pierce a coconut's inner shell (the hard fibrous one,
which is what we who harvest them in supermarkets normally see) is
through one of the three dark, roughly circular spots clustered at one
end, which are said (and I agree) to resemble a monkey's face (O-mouth
and two big eyes). Memory says my source is _The Joy of Cooking_.
Jeez, I hope I can finish this message and get it out this time. Last time I
tried, I interrupted myself to adjust the sound volume... and the $%^&*
Windows 95 (which I do not love) got stuck in a loop telling me some
pathname was bad, and I had to kill the mail task.
Mark A. Mandel : mark[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]dragonsys.com
Dragon Systems, Inc. : speech recognition : +1 617 965-5200
320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02160, USA : http://www.dragonsys.com/