A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from December 30, 2020
“Not my circus, not my monkeys. But the clowns definitely know me”

“Not my circus, not my monkeys”—meaning “not my business”—is a Polish saying (nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy) that became popular in English by about 2013. “Not my circus, not my monkeys. But the clowns definitely know me” is an extension that has been printed on many images. The saying means that this mess is none of my business, but I’m familiar with it.

“Not my circus. Not my monkeys. Though I’m thinking one of the clowns look vaguely familiar” was posted on Twitter by Jo Gifford on June 26, 2014. “Not my circus, not my monkeys, but I think I recognise several of the clowns” was posted on Twitter by Alun Jones on November 20, 2019.

“Not my circus, not my monkeys. But the clowns definitely know me” was posted on Twitter by Cruncher on June 3, 2020. “Not my circus, not my monkeys. But the clowns definitely know me” was posted on Twitter by Teresa Lynn Lamey on June 7, 2020. The meme became popular on Facebook in December 2020.


Wiktionary: not my circus, not my monkeys
Etymology
Calque of Polish nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy.
Phrase
not my circus, not my monkeys

1. (colloquial) It’s none of my business; indicates that one is not responsible for controlling or changing a volatile or delicate situation.

Twitter
Jo Gifford
@MPI_Jo
Not my circus. Not my monkeys. 
Though I’m thinking one of the clowns look vaguely familiar.
3:17 PM · Jun 26, 2014·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Alun Jones
@ftp_alun
Not my circus, not my monkeys, but I think I recognise several of the clowns.
9:15 AM · Nov 20, 2019·Twitter for Android

Twitter
Cruncher
@nonovery
Not my circus, not my monkeys. But the clowns definitely know me
7:04 AM · Jun 3, 2020 from Kaliwungu, Indonesia·Twitter for Android

Twitter
Teresa Lynn Lamey
@TeLynLa
Not my circus, not my monkeys. But the clowns definitely know me.
10:49 AM · Jun 7, 2020·Twitter for Android

Twitter
tish ❄
@Natishkaa_
Not my circus, not my monkey’s. But the clowns definitely know me.
7:26 PM · Jun 14, 2020 from Saint Lucia·Twitter for Android

Twitter
Aunty Omalicha♥
@fatchickydee
Not my circus
Not my monkeys
But the clowns definitely know me
2:07 AM · Jun 19, 2020·Twitter for Android

Twitter
Petty Betty (ItsTashaBi_tch)
@feelinfroggy181
Not my circus. Not my monkeys. But, the clowns definitely know me.
1:01 AM · Oct 16, 2020·Twitter for Android

Twitter
𝑲𝒊𝒕
@twitKhit
Not my circus, not my monkeys
But I definitely know the clowns
8:31 AM · Nov 5, 2020·Twitter for Android

Facebook
Crazy World
Not my circus, not my
monkeys. But the clowns
definitely know me.
December 20, 2020 at 4:07 PM ·

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Wednesday, December 30, 2020 • Permalink