. . . to freeze the balls off of a brass monkey.
Cannon balls aboard Navy ships were once stored on brass racks. Since brass contracts under cold temperatures, an extremely cold night would cause the brass racks to shrink enough to actually pop out any iron cannon balls they contained.
Heard that one?
Civil war reenactors and military types like to show how much they know by quoting this old saw.
Taint true, McGee.
The differential between the coefficients of thermal expansion of brass and iron are not sufficient to cause this metallic primate castration.
This science moment has been brought to you by my lack of anthing intelligent to write.