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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cold Enough ?

Have you ever heard the expression? "Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass Monkey."

It is a Nautical expression from back in the days when they used cannons that fired solid round metal cannon balls.  In order to keep the balls from rolling around the deck and breaking peoples ankles, they would tack a brass ring to the deck which was called a 'Monkey'.  When it would get really cold the monkey would shrink (Physics).  The monkey was big enough to hold three cannon balls inside it and they could stack a fourth on top of the three so there would be four cannon balls beside each cannon, ready to go all the time.  When the monkey shrunk the three balls on the bottom would slip out dropping the fourth and you would have loose cannon balls rolling around the deck.  That would produce a very dangerous situation on a gun deck or below the deck near open hatchways.  So when it got cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey, it was pretty dang cold, and a dangerous situation. 

If you have never heard the expression now you have.  If you have heard it, this is what it means and where it originated from. 

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