Date: Mon, 16 Sep 1996 11:13:21 -0400
From: "M. Lynne Murphy" 104LYN[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MUSE.ARTS.WITS.AC.ZA
Subject: more monkey business
thanks again for all the help on "pop goes the weasel" the other
week. the struggle continues. the radio show on which i discussed
it was aired yesterday, and i've just received a call from a listener
(he called around my university looking for "the american lady" in
order to get me. can't believe he actually succeeded), telling me
that "monkey" in the song means `pawnbroker' in a brit slang. so, the
monkey chasing the weasel is the pawnbroker trying to get his goods.
this doesn't explain why the monkey is on the table in the verse that
goes "ev'ry night when i come home, the monkey's on the table/i take
a stick and knock him off/pop goes the weasel."
what do we think? is this the real monkey or just a tale? (the pun
works better in speech, but i can hear the groans already.) as i
said, i've checked several slang sources, but this was not among the
meanings i found. but who could compile a complete slang dictionary?