Monkey wrench into the works

Posted by David FG on October 13, 2004

In Reply to: Monkey wrench into the works posted by James Briggs on October 12, 2004

: : Does anyone know the source or origin of the expression "throw a monkey wrench into the works"?

: In British English the expression is to throw a 'spanner in the works'. 'Monkey wrench' and 'spanner' are both the names of a tool for turning nuts and bolts. If one of these tools is thrown into a working mechanical device - into its 'works', then things will go wrong.

A slightly up-dated version of 'sabotage' in which (originally) French workers threw their clogs (sabots) into machinery to deliberately damage it.