Monkey see, monkey do
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Monkey see, monkey do is a pidgin-style saying that appeared in American culture in the early 1920s. The saying refers to the learning of a process without an understanding of why it works. Another definition implies the act of mimicry, usually with limited knowledge and/or concern of the consequences.
The saying could originate from the folklore of Mali, West Africa, made well known by Esphyr Slobodkina's retelling, which she calls Caps for Sale (A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business). There are also various other versions of this folk-tale, such as The Hatseller and the Monkeys by Baba Wagué Diakité, set in Mali.
Jazz singer-songwriter Michael Franks used the saying as the subject and title of his song "Monkey See – Monkey Do" on his 1976 album "The Art of Tea". A television show of the same name aired on PBS Kids Sprout
- A puppet re-telling of this story by children of Hillside First School, Bradwell
- Slobodkina Foundation
- Why Do We Say "Monkey See, Monkey Do"? – covers the saying's grammar incorrectness
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