That train has sailed

This is a congruent conflation of “that ship has sailed” and “that train has left the station”, both meaning the act has already been done.  It was said by Austin Powers in the movie Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery, when he was speaking to a drunk Vanessa:

She was very groovy.
Your dad loved her very much.
If there was one other cat in this world that could have loved her and treated her as well as your dad then it was me.
But unfortunately for yours truly that train has sailed.
Vanessa? Hello?

A big thanks to Sam Edelmann for hearing this one.  Oh behave!


An omnichannel approach blurs the waters

Here’s this one in context:
“Where an omnichannel approach blurs the waters is looking at the user-first approach across the landscape of all the devices the customer uses to achieve a task. In doing so, omnichannel compromises the agendas of business silos and industry trends such as mobile-first, since consumers and their needs drive any approach.”
This is a congruent conflation of “muddy the waters” and “blur the distinction”, both meaning to confuse the issue.  This is a particularly good one as “muddy” and “blur” have similar meanings and sounds.  And who can forget that great blues artist, Blurry Waters?  A big thank you to Marcia Johnston for seeing this one and passing it on.  As she said to me, given the context, “this water sure looks muddy and blurry to me!”

He has his act in order

I heard this one on this week’s Monday Night Football game, uttered by the play by play announcer, Mike Tirico.  It is a mash up of “put one’s house in order” (put one’s personal or business affairs into good order) and “get one’s act together” (get organized or start to behave more appropriately).  I almost missed it as it is subtle and sounds almost correct, both signs of a great malaphor.

Let’s get to the chase

This nice, subtle malaphor was spoken by Patricia “Tan Mom” Krentcil during her guest appearance on The Howard Stern show, talking about her love for Stern Show staff member Sal Governale.  It is a congruent conflation of  “cut to the chase” and “get to the point”, both meaning to abandon the preliminaries and focus on what is important.  A big shout out to Mike “the Malaphor Slayer” Kovacs for hearing this one and passing it on.

Well, at blanket face? He’s great.

This was uttered by the Queen of Malaphors, Naomi David.  Her friend asked her what she thought of a guy she (her friend) was dating, and the Queen responded with this malaphor.  Katie Hatfield says it is triple mash up and I agree: making a “blanket statement” (a phrase used to describe similarly situated things, usually resulting in diluting the specific meaning of individual terms), “at face value” (accepted from its outward appearance), and “point blank” (telling someone directly).   Maybe Naomi was thinking of the Face Blanket, termed by the Huffington Post as “the stupidest product no one needs ever”.   Yes, that’s right, a blanket that goes over your face.  So perhaps the boyfriend really looks better with a face blanket.   Cheers!



You literally just took the food right out of my nose

Not a pleasant visual.  I think this is a mash up of “from under one’s nose” (in plain view) and “took the words out of my mouth” (to say something just before someone else was going to say the same thing).   “My Ol’ Pal” suggests “pay through the nose” might be in the mix as well.  A shout out to Ian who heard this one from his wife at lunch the other day.

Cough it over

This brilliant little gem was uttered accidentally by my neighbor and friend, Char Stone.  It is a nice congruent conflation of “cough it up” and “hand it over”, both meaning to produce or present something.  Both phrases have three words, share the word “it”, and contain direction words.  Also, one generally puts a hand over a cough to prevent germs from spreading, perhaps adding to the confusion.  It’s also a nice phrase to use when watching a cat attempt to cough up a hairball.  Thanks Char for this one!




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