Why when astonished would someone say, ‘Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle’?
During the famous Scopes trial in 1925, a Tennessee schoolteacher, John T. Scopes, was accused of breaking that state’s law by teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution rather than the Biblical origins of mankind. The trial was a sensation and astonished many who had never heard that humans might be related to the apes, and from this came the expression, ‘Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle.’
Why do we call a predictable trial a ‘kangaroo court’?
The expression ‘kangaroo court’ came out of Texas in the 1850s. It meant that the accused’s guilt was predetermined and that the trial was a mere formality before punishment. Kangaroo was a Texas reference to Australia, a former British penal colony where everyone had been guilty of something, and so if a convict were accused of a new crime, there would be no doubt of his guilt.