Usually monkeyshines. a frivolous or mischievous prank; monkey business.

Origin of monkeyshine

1820–30; monkey + shine1 (in the sense of ‘a foolish prank’) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for monkey-shines

Historical Examples of monkey-shines

  • "It's monkey-shines like this that breed anarchists," he growled.

    The Streets of Ascalon

    Robert W. Chambers

  • "Now don't you cut up any monkey-shines," pleaded the driver of the carryall.

    The Mystery at Putnam Hall

    Arthur M. Winfield

  • Are you going to play any monkey-shines with the locomotive, Hawkins?

  • Whenever I reign people carry umbrellas; and my son, although quite polished, indulges only in monkey-shines!

    The Woggle-Bug Book

    L. Frank Baum

  • The cow-punchers, always so sober-faced while engaged in their monkey-shines, relaxed into a grin of approval.

Word Origin and History for monkey-shines

1832 (in the "Jim Crow" song), from Monkey + shine.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper