Fun_People Archive
9 Jan
The BBC is not amused

Date: Mon,  9 Jan 95 14:35:31 PST
From: Peter Langston <psl>
To: Fun_People
Subject: The BBC is not amused

Forwarded-by: bostic@CS.Berkeley.EDU (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: (David C Lawrence)
Forwarded-by: Lisa Chabot <>
From: (Michael Robertson)

I found this letter posted on the Electronic Telegraph today.  It
sounds like something Patrick O'Brian would include in one of his

   SIR - While reading the Saturday Column by Russell Davies (Dec. 10),
   I was intrigued to see that the BBC had banned all mention of brass
   monkeys and frosty weather. Why? This is a very old naval term dating
   from the days of wooden men o' war.

   Then, a triangular frame was fixed to the deck. This was known as a
   monkey. In this frame were stacked iron cannon balls, pyramid fashion.
   During very cold weather, the monkey, being made of brass, would
   contract sharply and dislodge some of the iron balls, giving rise to
   the saying "it's cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey".

[=] © 1995 Peter Langston []