Where did the term throw a monkey wrench in the works come from?

A monkey wrench is a type of adjustable wrench or spanner. And to throw a monkey wrench into the machinery is a metaphor for disrupting something, a metaphor of throwing a heavy metal object into machinery. The term originated in Britain, although nowadays it’s primarily found in North American speech and writing.

What does it mean to throw a monkey wrench into something?

US, informal. : to damage or change (something) in a way that ruins it or prevents it from working properly The storm threw a monkey wrench into their plans for a picnic.

What is a monkey wrench used for?

This heavy wrench was used in steam locomotive and railroad-car repair work. A skilled mechanic used a monkey wrench only when a solid, open-end wrench was not available to properly fit a bolt or nut in question, or when the head of the bolt or size of the nut was non-standard.

What does throw a wrench mean?

Definition of throw a wrench into the works : to damage or change (something) in a way that ruins it or prevents it from working properly We were going to renew our lease, but the landlord threw a wrench into the works by increasing the rent.

What’s the difference between a monkey wrench and a crescent wrench?

Crescent wrenches have one fixed jaw and one movable jaw; they differ from monkey wrenches in that the jaws on a crescent wrench are nearly parallel to the handle, whereas the jaws on a monkey wrench are perpendicular to the handle. In both types, the jaws are adjusted using a worm gear that you turn with your thumb.

What is the purpose of wrench?

Wrenches are made in various shapes and sizes and are used for gripping, fastening, turning, tightening and loosening things like pipes, pipe fittings, nuts and bolts. There are basically two major kinds of wrenches: Pipe wrenches used in plumbing for gripping round (cylindrical) things.

What’s the difference between a spanner and a wrench?

The term wrench is generally used for tools that turn non-fastening devices (e.g. tap wrench and pipe wrench), or may be used for a monkey wrench—an adjustable pipe wrench. In American English, spanner refers to a specialized wrench with a series of pins or tabs around the circumference.

What is another name for a monkey wrench?

adjustable spanner
Also called, especially British, adjustable spanner. a wrench having an adjustable jaw permitting it to grasp nuts or the like of different sizes.

What is the biggest disadvantage of using an open end wrench?

The disadvantage is that it is less stable than a fixed-size wrench and can easily injure you or damage the fastener. An adjustable wrench should be used only if the correct size wrench is not available.

Where does the phrase’throw a monkey wrench into’come from?

origin of ‘throw a monkey wrench into’: threshing machines. The American-English phrase to throw a monkey wrench into means to stop or obstruct by direct interference—synonym (British English): to throw a spanner in(to) the works.

Which is the correct spelling of Monkey Wrench?

2 : something that disrupts He threw a monkey wrench into my plan. Get Word of the Day daily email! Which is the correct spelling? Test your knowledge – and maybe learn something along the way.

Where did Charles Monk invent the monkey wrench?

A Charles Monk (not Moncky) lived in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn in the 1880s where he made and sold moulder’s tools, not mechanics’ tools like a monkey wrench. He could not have invented or named the monkey wrench because he was born after the term first appeared in print.

What does it mean when someone throws a wrench in the works?

If someone or something throws a wrench into the works or throws a monkey wrench into the works, they cause problems which prevent something from happening in the way that was planned.