You’re a tough nut to follow

I had to post this one right away, as it comes on the heels of Lara Hayhurst Compton’s “better safe than never”, which we both agree should be Planned Parenthood’s new slogan.  “A tough nut to follow” was spoken by Tim Hughes, a talented actor who is currently playing the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz at the Fulton Theater in Lancaster, PA.  This malaphor is a mash up of “tough act to follow” (outstanding performance) and “tough nut to crack” (difficult person or problem to deal with).  Tough is the operative word here, which my guess led to the malaphor.  Of course, Tim might have been referring to a difficult person who gave a great performance!  This one is also similar to “tough nut to swallow” see –  A big thank you to Lara Hayhurst Compton for hearing this one and passing it on!


Better safe than never

This gem was uttered by that blonde bombshell, Lara Hayhurst Compton, and so could fit in the category entitled “blonde malaphor”.  It is a mash up of “better safe than sorry” (be cautious or you may regret it) and “better late than never” (doing something late is better than not doing it).  Both expressions do indicate someone doing something, albeit cautiously.  “Late” and “safe” are both four letter words and sound similar, adding to the mix-up.

For your consideration – Maybe Lara has unintentionally created the new safe sex slogan.  It could replace the abstinence slogan “Just say no”.   A big thanks to Lara Hayhurst Compton for blurting this one and sending it in!

His head between his tail

The other day on Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough was commenting on Donald Trump’s announcement that he was running for president, “[I]f people think he’s going to get one person and crawl away with his head between his tail, they probably have it wrong.”  Body parts are certainly the source of many malaphors.  I think this is a congruent conflation of “putting your tail between your legs” and “hanging your head”, both expressions meaning feeling ashamed or embarrassed.  As the contributor Louis Mande says,  ” Either way, I agree. Neither one describes The Donald.”  Thanks Louis for hearing this one and sending it in!

You’re yanking my leg

That Mistress of Malaphors, Naomi David, has struck again.  Her mom asked her what a “shout out” was, and MM replied, “you’re yanking my leg” as she could not believe her mom wasn’t aware of the expression.  This gem is a mash up of  “yanking my chain” (giving someone a hard time) and “pulling my leg” (play a joke on or tease).  Both expressions have similar meanings and have similar action verbs – yanking and pulling.  Perhaps leg chains were also involved in this mental hair ball.  The last time I heard this expression was in a chiropractor’s office.  A big shout out to Naomi David for uttering this one and to Katie Hatfield for sending it in!

It’s like taking food out of our pocket

MaryKathryn strikes again.  Here is her story: “I was having a conversation with my husband about a particular client. I told him I was concerned about running up this particular client’s legal bill and told him we should not charge him for some work we had done. He gave me “the look” as I call it and I said, ‘yes, I know, it is like taking food out of our pocket.’  Once again the discussion ended in my husband laughing at me.”

This gem is a mash up of being “out of pocket” (have less money than you should have) and “taking bread from someone’s mouth” (depriving someone of his livelihood).  She may also have been thinking of songs from Oliver, including “Food, Glorious, Food”, and “You’ve Got To Pick a Pocket or Two”.  Well done, MaryKathryn!

They didn’t give me the light of day

This closely sounding malaphor is a mash up of “see the light of day” (be published, brought out, or born) and “not give someone the time of day” (ignore someone).  Light and time sound similar and have a connection.  The speaker might also have been thinking of being “slighted”, and the brain coughed up a “mental hair ball” (hat tip to Marcia Riefer Johnston for that beautiful expression).   A big thanks to Katie Hatfield for uttering this one and passing it on!

It’s simple as mud

Mike Kovacs, Vice President of Malaphor Hunters (MAHU), heard this one at a meeting.  It think it is a conflation of “simple or easy as pie” (very easy or simple) and “clear as mud” (not understandable).  Maybe the speaker was thinking of his childhood, making mud pies?  And of course mud and pie are both three letter words, worthy of a mix-up.  Could the movie Blood Simple also have been on the speaker’s mind?  Blood rhymes with mud.  A big thanks to Mike for hearing this one and sending it in!


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