If you have been following this blog and my website – http://www.malaphors.com - you know that the sports world is a gold mine for malaphors. This beauty was heard on a local sports radio talk show (Pittsburgh). A guy was talking about the Pirates and criticized the organization for focusing exclusively on “ingrown players” rather than seeking free agents. This is a congruent conflation of “home-grown” and “in-house”, both meaning something local or conducted within the organization. Just wondering, but was Tom Herr, the second baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals, an in-grown ballplayer? A big thanks to Justin Taylor for hearing this one and passing it along!
This masterpiece is a blend of “wasn’t born yesterday” and “fallen off the turnip truck”, the former describing someone who is not naiive or easily fooled and the latter someone who is unsophisticated or ignorant. I think this would be a good one to say when you REALLY want to let someone know you are aware of what is going on. Or if you really were born off a turnip truck. And if that’s the case, I would always root for you. Thanks to Brad Stone for uttering this unintentional malaphor and to his wife Char for sending it in!
Okay, I admit saying this one. While visiting Miami on business this week, I remarked to a colleague that the hotel I was staying in was very nice but was showing its age, and then blurted the above. I silently screamed Malaphor! and immediately wrote it down. As you know, the best malaphors are quickly forgotten because of their subtlety. Faceover is a one word blend of “facelift” and “makeover”, both indicating improved cosmetic changes. I actually like the word faceover as it is a good description of any rehab project. I would encourage everyone to start using it. Now if the subject matter was a hockey arena, it might be a triple blend with faceoff in the mix….
This mix-up was heard last week on the Today Show. A person was giving advice on how women can network to get back into a career after being out of work for a long time. She gave an example of web ideas and then uttered this great malaphor. It is a mash up of “get your foot in the door” (start at a low level in an organization in order to get a better job in that organization) and “dip your toe in the water” (start carefully or test things first). So perhaps a toe in the door is almost getting the job. I note that Australians say “get a leg in the door” instead of “foot in the door”, indicating that they are expecting a little higher level entry position? Certainly their minimum wage indicates so (Australia 15.96/hr vs. US 7.25/hr). Thanks to Ron Marks for sending this one in!
This phrase mixes “sitting duck” (someone vulnerable to an attack) and “shooting fish in a barrel” (ridiculously easy). A big thanks to Michael Ameel for hearing this one on a radio program recently about the Kennedy assassination. An expert on the show indicated that JFK was an easy target, and blurted out this malaphor. It is similar to the 1/16/13 entry, “It’s like shooting ducks in a barrel”.
This might be another “freudian slip malaphor” (see “I have nothing to hide but the truth”), when considering it was spoken by a physician. This is a mash up of “trial by fire” (ability to perform under pressure) and “trial and error” (trying repeatedly for success). It’s also the title of a “Murder She Wrote” and a “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” episode. Who knew? Thanks to Barry Eigen for sending in this gem.
Perhaps this malaphor should be categorized as a “freudian slip malaphor”, as it was uttered by a person under oath. It combines the phrase “I have nothing to hide” and the end of the witness oath in which one swears to tell the truth, the whole truth and “nothing but the truth.” It might also apply to politicians these days. Thanks to John Costello for sending this beauty in!