I'll be a monkey's uncle

English translation: ok

00:14 Jun 7, 2008
English language (monolingual) [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary - Idioms / Maxims / Sayings
English term or phrase: I'll be a monkey's uncle
I'm translating a novel from Spanish to US English and it involves some pretty idiomatic expressions. I need to know if "I'll be a monkey's uncle" would be readily understood in the US as an expression of great surprise
David Hollywood
Local time: 21:16
Selected answer:ok
Explanation:
They should understand that.
Selected response from:

Egil Presttun
Norway
Local time: 02:16
Grading comment
thanks so much for great input from all and I really appreciate it ...
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



SUMMARY OF ALL EXPLANATIONS PROVIDED
4 +6Well, I'll be ...
Patricia Rosas
4 +5ok
Egil Presttun
5I can't believe it!
Lori S


Discussion entries: 22





  

Answers


10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
i'll be a monkey's uncle
ok


Explanation:
They should understand that.

Egil Presttun
Norway
Local time: 02:16
Works in field
Native speaker of: Norwegian
Grading comment
thanks so much for great input from all and I really appreciate it ...

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Kim Metzger: As an American, I can confirm that it's a very common phrase in US English too.
8 mins
  -> Thank you!

agree  R-i-c-h-a-r-d
25 mins
  -> Thanks!

agree  Marie Scarano: confirmation from another American- even if not so young
6 hrs
  -> Thanks!

agree  Jonathan MacKerron: OED "I'll be (or I am) a monkey's uncle: a colloquial expression of surprise."
8 hrs
  -> Thank you!

agree  BrettMN: Absolutely, yes
3 days 15 hrs
  -> Thank you!
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13 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +6
i\'ll be a monkey\'s uncle
Well, I'll be ...


Explanation:
It's common US Eng (or at least it was 30 or more years ago)

(often preceded by well) expressing complete surprise or disbelief
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/I'll_be_a_monkey's_uncle

Patricia Rosas
United States
Local time: 17:16
Native speaker of: English

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Kim Metzger: Yes - I doubt if you'd hear an American teenager using the phrase these days.
6 mins
  -> apparently harks back to Charles Darwin!

agree  R-i-c-h-a-r-d: well, I'll be damned, I'll be buggered, I'll be a ring-tailed lemur...etc
22 mins
  -> BLIMEY!

agree  Gary D: a common expression of total supprise of a fact or event. Ie; "Your mum is really Your dad". Well...I'll be a monkey's uncle!
48 mins
  -> this is too RLOL!

agree  Patricia Townshend (X)
5 hrs

agree  orientalhorizon
5 hrs

agree  Marie Scarano
6 hrs
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5 days   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
i'll be a monkey's uncle
I can't believe it!


Explanation:
In the US that phrase would be commonly be understood as one expressing disbelief or amazement.

Lori S
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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