Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
About this entry:
First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.
MONKEY, n. Sc. usages:
1. Combs. and phr.: (1) monkey-chip, -chippie (Ayr.8 1963), a game of marbles (see quot.). Hence monkey-chipper, a marble used in the game; (2) monkey-faces, mimulus (Bnff., Abd. 1963); (3) monkey-hanger, a nickname current in Greenock for a Port Glasgow man (see quot.). Cf. (7); (4) monkey-mensed, silly, giddy, thoughtless. See Mense; (5) monkey's face, the sea-urchin, Spatangus purpureus (Lth. 1851 J. G. Dalyell Powers of Creator I. 133). See Man; (6) monkeys' moos, the yellow toad-flax, Linaria vulgaris (Abd.27 1948). Cf. (2); (7) monkey-waggon, see quot.; (8) to hang the monkey, to put in time on a job of work without really working at it (Rxb. 1963). Cf. (3).(1) Mry.1 1925:
Monkey Chip — A game at marbles: throw a marble against a wall so that it will rebound to a hole.Abd. 1958 Press and Jnl. (22 Sept.):
Bools . . . with rosies, and peebles and picks and monkey-chippers and glessers.(3) Rnf. 1929 F. C. Bowen Sea Slang 91:
Monkey-Hangers. Port Glasgow men, applied by their Greenock rivals. The story is that a party from Port Glasgow set out for Dumbarton to witness a hanging, but got drunk and missed the boat. So they seized an organ-grinder's monkey and consoled themselves with hanging that.(4) Abd. 1827 J. Imlah May Flowers 9:
Lat glaiket Fasbion gang to France, Wi' monkey-mensed Munseer to prance.(7) wm.Sc.1 1948–63:
A type of vehicle, with four wheels, for carrying long (but not tremendously long) loads is regularly known to carting contractors in this district as a monkey-waggon. In this the front axle has the usual swivelling arrangement and a pole fixed behind it. This pole passes through the back axle, which is flxed to it by a pin passing through both at the point in the pole appropriate to the length of the load being carried. The monkey-waggon thus has an adjustable wheel-base.(8) Fif. 1954:
I was just hangin the monkey aa efternain.
2. A tool with a ratchet for tensing fencing wire (Arg.1 1937; m. and s.Sc. 1963).
3. A boy's toy (see quot.). Cf. Naut. Eng. monkey, a sailor's purse worn round the neck.Abd.13 1910:
Monkey: a boy's plaything made of an old cotton reel and a small bag with string attached. With this he collects slatepencil. He goes round the others saying: “Feed my monkey.” They put a little bit of slatepencil into the hole of the reel, the boy pulls the string and down it goes into the bag.
4. A bundle of material removed surreptitiously from one's work (wm.Sc. 1962). Cf. 3.Cld. 1957 Manchester Guardian (20 March):
Removal of timber or other material was strictly forbidden, yet almost everyone quite openly took home each night the bundle of firewood known to Clydesiders for some obscure reason as a “monkey”.
5. A round narrow-mouthed basket used by fishermen for holding bait; “a basket carried on the arm” (Fif. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 256).Fif. 1868 St. Andrews Gazette (11 July):
I had a basket, which is called a “monkey”, with me. It was an ordinary sized mussel basket.
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"Monkey n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Dec 2022 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/monkey>