Finding a doctor on the weekend is kind of touch or miss

This perfectly formed malaphor was uttered by a hospital nurse.  It is a mash up of “hit or miss” (at random, haphazardly) and “touch and go” (chancy).  Touching is just a mild form of hitting so I can see where the speaker became confused.  The two phrases also describe a thing likely not to occur.  Thanks to Deb Mande for hearing this one and sending it in!

We’ll be laughed out of the water

At a meeting last week, Beehive Crick, a malaphor follower, overheard this gem uttered by a client who was worried.  It is a mash up of “laugh out of court” (dismiss something presented in earnest as ridiculous) and “blow (something) out of the water” (to destroy something, such as a plan).   Interestingly, this seems to be a common malaphor based on the number of entries on the internet using this mixed idiom.  Thank you Beehive!

You better watch your P’s and cross your T’s

Excellent advice given by that legal malaphor utterer, Marykathryn Kopec.  She said this to her husband, warning him about submitting a Motion to a particularly picky Judge.  It is a congruent conflation of “mind/watch your P’s and Q’s” and “dot your I’s and cross your T’s”, both meaning to pay careful attention to small details.  This mash-up has a nice rhyming ring to it.  Thanks to Marykathryn for this one!

It could happen at the drop of a pin

This malaphor was heard on the local Pittsburgh PBS show, “On Essential Pittsburgh”.  It is a mash up of “at the drop of a hat” (immediately) and “(so quiet that) you could hear a pin drop” (extremely quiet).  Drop is the shared word and the probably cause of the confusion.   Kudos to Sally Adler for hearing this one and sending it in!

This clearly tops the cake

This beauty was spotted by Mike Browning in a local news channel website.  The Virginia Delegate Mark Keam was discussing predatory towing and uttered this malaphor.  It is a mash up of “it takes the cake” (extreme example, usually bad) and “over the top” (extremely overdone).   A cake topping also comes to mind.  Here is the link to the quote:  Thanks Mike for this one!

I was dead to the wind

Steve Grieme, a frequent contributor to this blog, heard this one from his very exhausted wife after a late night dinner and early wake-up.  It is a mash up of “dead to the world” (sound asleep) and “gone with the wind (disappeared or gone forever).  Both expressions indicate a completeness.  Isn’t dead to the wind a nautical term?  A big thanks as always to Steve for keeping his ear to the grindstone for malaphors!

I’m not one to wave the drum for feminism too often

In the course of discussing workplace politics, the speaker uttered this gem.  It is a perfect congruent conflation of “wave the flag” and “beat the drum”, both meaning to promote or support someone or something.  Question for the day: if a drum is waved, will anyone hear it?  A tip of the hat to Laura for sending this one in!


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