In this blog I would like to explain the phrase
"If you pay peanuts you get monkeys."
The phrase is attributed to the Anglo French businessman James Goldsmith, and it is used to describe the quality of service offered by people in business.
It is a negative phrase and is used to describe the situation where the speaker feels that if an employer pays low wages then the staff working for them will be bad.
Speaker A: "Every time I call that company I can't get the service I want"
Speaker B: "Well if you pay peanuts you get monkeys"
In this example the first speaker is describing a situation where they feel that the service they are getting from the company is very bad, the second speakers is expressing their feeling that because the company pays their staff so little money, this is the reason for the bad service.
The phrase can also used to describe the situation where a person who pays too little for a service should not expect the quality of the service
to be any good.
Speaker A: "Juan is trying to learn English online and pays only $1 for an hour's one to one lesson, but I have to say his English is getting worse"
Speaker B: ""Well maybe someone should teach Juan the expression, if you pay peanuts you get monkeys"
In this example the first speaker is saying that they are shocked at how bad Juan's English is.
The second speaker, suggests that because Juan pays so little money for his lessons, his teacher is not a professional.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog.
Remember you can learn online from professional native speaking English teachers