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PARROTS AND MONKEYS ORIGIN

Tuesday April 12th, 2011
PARROTS AND MONKEYS
The phrase to describe the kit of servicemen is believed to have originated in India during British rule there. Parrots and monkeys were often brought home as pets when soldiers finished their service. The final command an old sweat would hear on a quayside before boarding a homeward bound troopship was, 'Pick up your parrots and monkeys and fall in facing the boat'. Today it has fallen into wider use and is often said before setting off on any journey when you have to take either belongings, sports kit, tools etc. as in ‘Grab your parrots and monkeys, we’re off!’
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