Posted by Li Yar on January 05, 2004
In Reply to: Freezing something OFF posted by abe on January 02, 2004
: : : : great rationale given except that the original phrase was cold enogh to freeze the balls ON a brass monkey.Hope this clears up all the scientific confusion .
: : : I know this is trite, but a favorite expression in my youth was "Colder than a witch's tit." We also had a song: Cool as an iceberg floatin' in a pool; / Cool as the tip of an Eskimo's tool; / Cool as an ice cube floatin' in a glass; / Cool as the ring around a polar bear's ass! (SS: if this gets printed twice I apologize.)
: Freezing something OFF was fairly common agricultural jargon: Plant leaves got frozen and then off but the expression was "leaves were frozen off". Farm animals left unprotected in extreme cold lost parts due to freezing and then the frozen parts fell off but the expression was "the cocks combe froze off". It would make sense that the expression about the brass monkey would use off.
Did anybody know that a 'brass monkey' was the lad that used to polish the brass?
Presumably, when they were aloft in cold weather, they occasionally suffered frostbite and, as the expression goes, their balls (testicles) suffered.
At least the choir didn't run short of sopranos...