Posted by Lewis on October 31, 2003
In Reply to: Monkey on my back posted by Dipsomaniac on October 30, 2003
: : : What does the term I have a monkey on my back mean?
: : "Get this monkey off my back!"... to stop a bad habit; to be rid of a problem or hang-up.
: : I have to get this monkey off my back. I have to stop gambling.
: : No idea on origin though.
: A Monkey on your back is an addiction. Like heroin is the monkey on an addict's back.
There is an expression used in the UK police that an unwanted responsibility is a 'monkey on the shoulder' which you can try to get rid of.