I’ll Be a Monkey’s Uncle: Origin and Meaning

Use this idiom to show that you are very surprised, amazed or in disbelief.
I'll be a monkey's uncleIn the 19th century, Charles Darwin published two books, ‘On the Origin of Species’ (1859) and ‘Decent of Man’ (1871). In both of these books, Darwin shared his theory of evolution: that man evolved from apes/monkeys. Many people did not agree with Darwin’s theories and the phrase “I’ll be a monkey’s uncle” began to be used sarcastically by non-believers.
“If what you told me is true then I’ll be a monkey’s uncle!”

Lisa: “Did you hear about that guy who won £10 million in the lottery? I read in the newspaper that he gave it all to charity!”
Josh: “Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle! What a nice chap.”

Paul: “What are you doing this weekend?”
John: “I’m going to Phil’s wedding on Saturday.”
Paul: “Phil?! Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle . I never thought that Phil would get married!”

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