World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Monkey see, monkey do

Article Id: WHEBN0001872714
Reproduction Date:

Title: Monkey see, monkey do  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Caps for Sale, Fictional monkeys, List of English-language metaphors, Clichés, 9 Story Media Group
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Monkey see, monkey do

Monkey see, monkey do is a pidgin-style saying that appeared in American culture in the early 1920s. The saying refers to the learning of a process without an understanding of why it works. Another definition implies the act of mimicry, usually with limited knowledge and/or concern of the consequences.[1]

The saying could originate from a story in the folklore of Mali, West Africa, made well known by Esphyr Slobodkina's retelling, which she calls Caps for Sale (A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business).[2] This folk-tale is retold by Baba Wagué Diakité in his 1999 book The Hatseller and the Monkeys, set in Mali. Diakité notes that versions of this tale also exist in Egypt, Sudan, India, and England.[2]

Jazz singer-songwriter Michael Franks used the saying as the subject and title of his song "Monkey See – Monkey Do" on his 1976 album "The Art of Tea". A television show of the same name aired on PBS Kids Sprout. The phrase is also mentioned in Nirvana's song "Stay Away" from their album Nevermind.

See also

References

  1. ^ Definition on Wiktionary
  2. ^ a b Whitman, Neal (November 25, 2013). "Why Do We Say "Monkey See, Monkey Do"?". The Visual Thesaurus. Retrieved 2014-09-26. 

External links

  • A puppet re-telling of this story by children of Hillside First School, Bradwell


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.