I have a beef to pick with you

Possibly the best congruent conflation to date, this beauty was heard by the now famous Malaphor Hunter, John Costello.  From my count this is his 11th contribution to the site.  It is a mash up of “have a beef” and “have a bone to pick”, both idioms meaning to have a complaint about something.  There are many causes for the unintentional conflation.  The obvious one is that the two phrases have the same meaning.  Also, bone and beef are four letter words, and are somewhat related (cattle have bones, many cuts of beef have bones). We cut our beef with knives (picks).

This malaphor was also uttered (intentionally) by Stephen Colbert when he interviewed Sir Paul McCartney in 2009:

“I have a beef to pick with you, sir, in that you don’t eat beef,” Colbert said.  http://vegetarianstar.com/2009/01/

Thanks to John Costello for hearing this one!

You need to get your ass together

This is a mash up of “get your act/shit together” (get organized) and “get off your ass” (stop loafing and get to work).  Both idioms direct someone to get moving, invoking a congruent conflation.  Also ass and act are three letter words that have a similar sound.  Finally, the lower half of the body is at work here in both phrases.  Many thanks to Robyn Pietrucha for blurting this one out and passing it along!

I had to pick up the flak

This was mentioned by a plaintiff who said she had a hard boss.  At first blush, it seems like just the misuse of a word (flak instead of slack),  but I believe it is also a malaphor, mixing “pick up the slack” (do the work of someone else) and “taking flak” (receiving strong criticism).  “Pick up the pace” (increase the rate that something is done) might actually be the phrase the speaker intended, based on the context.  Muchas gracias to Sam Edelmann for hearing this one and passing it on!

You know, I was burning the bridges at both ends

This was overheard when a woman was chatting to her friends about how hard she had been working lately.  It is a mash up of “burning the candle at both ends” (extreme effort without rest) and “to burn one’s bridges” (make decisions that cannot be changed in the future).  The verb burn seems to be the cause of the conflation.  This mized idiom is similar to a previous postinh involving burning bridges –  see http://malaphors.com/2013/01/17/well-burn-that-bridge-when-we-come-to-it/.   A big thanks to Mr.Tonk for sending this one in!

We really nailed it out of the park

This wonderful malaphor was heard by the Chief Judge of Malaphors (CJM),  Yvonne.  It was said on the penultimate episode of HGTV’s Beach Flip when contestant Martha blurts out “we really nailed it out of the park.”  This is a congruent conflation of two sports metaphors – “nailed it”  and “hit it out of the park”, both meaning to do something successfully or an outstanding achievement.  The malaphor is similar to another one heard on HGTV – “they blew it out of the park.”  http://malaphors.com/?s=park  Interestingly, that one was also heard by Yvonne, CJM.  Keep watching those reality shows, Yvonne!

That’s what you get for bottlenecking

There was an accident on the highway and the traffic was moving slowly.  Suddenly everyone witnessed another car accident on the other side of the highway.  Sister Sarah then uttered this wonderful malaphor, a mash up of “rubbernecking” (staring at something of interest) and “bottleneck” (a narrow or obstructed section, as in a highway).   Please, do not bottleneck while driving.  Thanks to Dan Geier for hearing this one and passing it on!

Trump’s comment about Megyn Kelly possibly a malaphor?

At the outset, this is not a political forum and I am not making any political statement.  I am merely suggesting that the Donald might have been confusing his idioms and so I am focusing solely on language here.

Here is the now famous comment:

“You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes,” Trump said during an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon on Friday night. “Blood coming out of her wherever.”  He later said that he was suggesting that blood was coming out of Kelly’s ears and nose, indicating anger.

This may be a mix of “out for blood” and “looking daggers at me”, both indicating anger and both consistent with the context.  “Smoke coming out of her ears” might also have been in the subconscious, as that expression also describes someone angry, often depicted literally in cartoons.  This is probably a better explanation than his follow up regarding noses and ears, both not describing anger as far as I know (as an aside, since he said he “could see blood coming out..”,  the seemingly unanimous conclusion of “wherever” doesn’t seem to be consistent, since that is not something one “could see” in the way one might be able to “see” another person’s eyes).

I posted a Trump malaphor recently (see the July 21, 2015 malaphor – http://malaphors.com/2015/07/21/i-have-a-pulse-to-the-ground/) so he does jumble his expressions.



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