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monkey business

frivolous or mischievous behavior.
improper or underhanded conduct; trickery.
Origin of monkey business
An Americanism dating back to 1880-85 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for monkey business

monkey business

(informal) mischievous, suspect, dishonest, or meddlesome behaviour or acts
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for monkey business

monkey business

noun phrase

  1. Frivolous pranks; japes and jests, etc: He was full of monkey business, the clown
  2. Dubious and dishonest stratagems; trickiness: Show these kids that you're going to stand for no monkey business (1883+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with monkey business

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 lawyer—there's some monkey business going on. This expression transfers the tricks of monkeys to human behavior. [ Late 1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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