monkey puzzle


a tree native to South America

TRANSLATION

monkey puzzle (tree) = Schlangenbaum, Schuppentanne, Affenschwanzbaum, Andentanne, Araukarie

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

“My life has been influenced greatly by these trees. Growing up in a 1920s house with a huge MONKEY PUZZLE in the garden started my interest in plant life.”

Robbie Blackhall-Miles - The Guardian

Did you
know?

monkey puzzle
noun

- a type of large evergreen tree with stiff branches that spread out at the side and dark green, sharp leaves; also called Chile pine.

Cambridge Dictionary


ORIGIN

The national tree of Chile, the monkey puzzle tree, or Araucaria araucana, is an evergreen conifer that is native to Chile and Argentina.

The origin of the popular English language name “monkey puzzle” derives from its early cultivation in Britain around 1850, when the species was still very rare in gardens and not widely known.

Sir William Molesworth, the owner of a young specimen in Cornwall, was showing it to a group of friends, when one of them – the noted barrister Charles Austin – remarked, “It would puzzle a monkey to climb that”. As the species had no existing popular name, “monkey puzzle” stuck.

Monkey puzzles can grow up to 40 metres and live to over 1,300 years. Because of the prevalence of similar species in ancient prehistory, it is sometimes called a living fossil.


MONKEY PHRASES

- brass monkey weather = Saukälte

- cheeky monkey = Frechdachs

- grease monkey = Mechaniker

- I don’t give a monkey’s = Das ist mir scheißegal!

- softly, softly, catchee monkey = mit Geduld und Spucke

- monkey business = fauler Zauber

- monkey bite = Knutschfleck

- make a monkey out of someone = jmd. zum Narren machen

- monkey around = herumalbern

- I’ll be a monkey’s uncle! = Ich glaub mein Schwein pfeift! Ich glaub mich tritt ein Pferd!


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Paul Smith

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