I heard this in a podcast from The Economist magazine. I can find a few usages online, but no definitions. Maybe I am spelling it wrong. Is it monk, or is it another word that sounds like monk?

The context was: "Predicting the price of oil is a monk's game."

  • 2
    A mug's game? But the pronunciation is not very close. I subscribe to the Economist podcast and can you let me know the date of the broadcast?
    – user140086
    Jan 24, 2016 at 6:08
  • 3
    I've just listed to it and it is indeed a mug's game.
    – user140086
    Jan 24, 2016 at 6:44

1 Answer 1


You've likely misheard "a mug's game"; says the CBC:

Predicting the price of oil is a mug's game, but Alberta has managed to quantify the many billions that have evaporated for this year, next year and the year after that.

A mug is a fool, one easily duped. Partridge's A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English cites its use from 1857. So anyone who bets on the future price of oil is likely to lose.

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