To be more specific, what's the point of joke in first episode in 8th season of Doctor Who:

"People are apes, men are monkeys."

As I can understand, 'ape' is more scientific term, and monkey is more casual and more vulgar. Am I right?

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    Apes & monkeys are completely different 'families' of animal. Humans are actually apes, not monkeys. The 'joke' is that monkeys are of a lower order than apes & therefore, men are a lower order than women. See animals.howstuffworks.com/mammals/monkeys-vs-apes.htm for a reasonably simple explanation of the differences – gone fishin' again. Jan 10 '15 at 16:38
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    @Tetsujin You should write that up as an answer. It's the right one. – Alan Third Jan 10 '15 at 21:21

There is a clear distinction between apes and monkeys (but not in all languages).

  • Apes
    are (simplified) the tailless relatives of us humans, a group containing gibbons, orangutans, gorillas and chimpanzees.
  • Monkeys
    are (even more simplified) "the other ones", often with long tails. Examples are mandrills, marmosets or macaques.

In daily speak, often "monkey" is used for apes, too, although technically not correct.

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Both terms can be used as terms of derision. You might hear in a 1940s American movie a phrase like "Get outta here, you big ape!" There it is a synonym for "oaf". When Ren calls Stimpy a "sick little monkey", it implies that Stimpy engages in some kind of perverted behavior. –

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