Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey

I know, most of you are thinking. What is he doing writing a blog about such a topic.
Well just to prove that most of you assume you know what this about when in reality you need to read the rest of this blog.

The phrase “Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey” came from the early 1700′s when sailors would stack iron cannon balls on a brass platform called a “Monkey”

When the weather would turn really cold and the temperature would drop drastically the brass monkey metal would contract more than the iron cannon balls and the cannon balls would roll off the brass monkey platform.

Thus the phrase ‘Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey” was originated.

Now aren’t you glad you read the entire blog and didn’t just assume I need professional help.
Enjoy winter, bundle up and make a snowman if you get a chance.

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One Comment
  1. Andrea Hana
    Posted June 26, 2013 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Tom Hanson,
    Thanks for the comment, very enlightening!

    I did not think that metal contraction would occur so significantly that it would cause cannon balls to fall from the monkey, but your suggestion of water or ice expansion makes sense. Thus, the phrase still holds true.


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