monkey business

Idioms & Phrases

monkey business

Silly, mischievous, or deceitful conduct, as in The teacher told the children to cut out the monkey business and get to work, or I don't trust that lawyerthere's some monkey business going on. This expression transfers the tricks of monkeys to human behavior. [Late 1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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