monkey’s wedding, noun phrase

Origin:
PortugueseShow more Probably ultimately from Portuguese casamento de rapôsa (‘vixen’s wedding’) which has the same sense.
Note:
In the Portuguese colonies in Africa, the word for ‘vixen’ (rapôsa) was presumably replaced by a word meaning ‘monkey’ (e.g. macaco), in the same way as gambá (opossum) is used instead of rapôsa in other parts of the Portuguese-speaking world. The adapted phrase may have come into South African English directly from Portuguese, or through Dutch (see quotation 1963) or Zulu (see quotation 1973).
The simultaneous occurrence of sunshine and rain. Also attributive.
1949 Cape Times 29 Nov. 16The Peninsula had a ‘monkey’s wedding’ rainfall yesterday with the sun shining at intervals and rain falling intermittently.
1990 A.E. Silva Informant, GrahamstownIt’s a monkey’s wedding, ’cause it’s rainy and it’s sunny.
The simultaneous occurrence of sunshine and rain. Also attributive.

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19491990