It’s just putty around my fingers

This is another malaphor uttered by Jack de Golia’s wife.  It appears to be a congruent conflation of “wrapped around my little finger” and “putty in my hands”, both describing someone easily manipulated or controlled.  Both phrases are usually describing a person rather than a thing, so not sure what Ms. De Golia was referring to.  Again, idioms referring to body parts are frequently mixed up in the clutter of our minds.  Thanks Jack for sending this one in!

Don’t get your panties in a ringer

This descriptive malaphor was written by Todd Christie, the brother of NJ Governor Chris Christie, in a Facebook post, reacting to people commenting on the Governor celebrating the Dallas Cowboys playoff win with Jerry Jones in his box suite.  It is a mash up of the expressions “don’t get your tit in a wringer” (don’t get in trouble) and “don’t get your panties (knickers) in a twist (bunch)” (don’t get upset over a trivial matter):

Christie’s brother, Todd, took to Facebook to defend the governor, blasting the “non Cowboy fans who have their panties in a ringer” and urging people to “get a life.”

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Thanks to Steve Grieme (two in one week!) for catching this one on CBS This Morning last week.


Don’t count your chickens before they come home to roost

The speaker really laid an egg in fumbling these two proverbs, “don’t count your chickens before they hatch” (don’t make any plans on something before it happens) and “chickens come home to roost” (consequences of doing wrong always catch up with the wrongdoer).   These  fowl phrases seem to get mixed up a lot  – see “Never count your eggs before they hatch (July 9, 2012 post) , and “Might the roosters be guarding the henhouse?” (August 2, 2014 post).  I was eggcited when Sam Edelmann laid this one on me.  Now only if the speaker had added cows coming home…

This hits the ticket!

The speaker uttered this beauty after being served a very nice sandwich.  This is a great example of a congruent conflation – a type of malaphor mixing two or more phrases with the same or similar meaning.  “Hits the spot” and “just(that’s) the ticket” are in play here, both meaning to be exactly right.  The congruent conflated malaphors are particularly good, as they sound somewhat correct and evoke a mental double take.  A shout out to Marcia Riefer Johnston for hearing this one and passing it on.

I’m not going to carry your wagon anymore

The first malaphor of 2015, a speaker replaced the word weight with wagon and unintentionally created this mix of “carry your own weight” (do your share) and “fix your wagon” (to punish or get even with someone).   Both phrases include words the begin with W, probably contributing to the confusion.  Could “hitch your wagon to a star” (aspiring to do great things) be in the mix as well?  Thanks to John Costello for sending this one in.

2014 in review

2014 was a good year for   58,000 views!  Thank you subscribers!  For a year in review, see below.


Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 58,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 21 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


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