cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Unknown. There is a discredited theory that it refers to a brass container for cannon balls on a British man-of-war, and a somewhat more plausible theory that "brass monkey" used to refer to a cannon on a man-of-war.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)

Adjective[edit]

cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey (not comparable)

  1. (idiomatic) Extremely cold.
    • 2003, Douglas McLaughlin, The Back Porch Philosopher, →ISBN:
      It was a bitterly cold, snowy and wind-blown evening in early January when I told my son that it was, "Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey." Needless to say, he laughed and agreed with me.
    • 2008, Baka Imre, The Sound of Guns, →ISBN, page 44:
      There were a few kids there already, and had a fire going on shore, some were huddled around the fire. I couldn't bame them, it was cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.
    • 2012, Bud Crawford -, Down Home, →ISBN, page 46:
      I know this was during coon hunting season so it must have been sometime in December. It was cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.

See also[edit]