It was mind shattering

This word blend malaphor was heard on the Mark Madden sports show when he was interviewing NBC hockey analyst Pierre McGuire. The night before, Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins had an incredible goal against the Dallas Stars where he tried to bank a shot off their goalie, got the rebound from the back side of the goalie in mid-air and scored a goal. Pierre said Sid’s play was “mind shattering.”  This is a word blend of “mind blowing” and “earth shattering”, both meaning shock or surprise.  This one is said often, based on Google hits, and perhaps has crept into the English lexicon, but I still believe it is a malaphor.  It certainly is better than “earth blowing”.  Kudos to Michael Ameel for hearing this one and passing it on!


I was painted into a wall

This is a nice congruent conflation of “painted into a corner” and “back against the wall”, both describing being in a hard-pressed situation.  A wall mural painting might also have crept into the recesses of the speaker’s mind.  Who knows? Many thanks to Elly Pietrucha who mistakenly uttered this one and passed it on!

That was your hip reaction

An employee recalled a decision his employer had made and uttered this nice mash up of “shooting from the hip” (to react quickly without thinking of the consequences) and “gut reaction” (a reaction to a situation based on feelings rather than a logical analysis). Both phrases involve an instinctual reaction rather than a carefully thought out one.  Also gut and hip are three letter words, and are anatomical words as well, perhaps adding to the confusion.  Then again, maybe the employer is just a real “hip” guy and reacts in an informed or in the know way?  Thanks to Steve Grieme, Super Malaphor Hunter, for hearing this one and sharing it!

If you had a hip reaction to this post, you might want to read the book on malaphors, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”, available on Amazon.  It’s a real page burner!

We didn’t want to just jam them out in a fire hose

This is another beauty from Sean Spicer, Trump’s Press Secretary.  At a news conference in response to a question about why President Trump has not undertaken all of the “day one” actions he had promised, Spicer replied that the administration did not want to “just jam them out in a fire hose.”

There is the dialogue: “Why not pursue all those on Day One, as he promised in a contract with the voters?”  Spicer said the Trump administration doesn’t want to “just jam them out in a fire hose.”

This is a mash up of “jam (something) down (someone’s) throat” (to compel someone to accept something) and  “drinking from a fire hose” (to be inundated by more of something than one is capable of handling).  A big thanks to David Barnes for catching this one and sending it in!



She’s making money left and hand

This was overheard in a conversation.  It is a mash up of “left and right” (everywhere) and “hand over fist” (for money to be exchanged very rapidly).  Seems like the left brain might not know what the right brain is doing.  A shout out to Sam Edelmann for hearing this one  and passing it on!

To say Joe is excited is an under exaggeration

On the Discovery Channel’s Yukon Men, Stan describes the excitement of son, Joey, about goose hunting: “To say Joe is excited is an under-exaggeration.”  This is a nice word blend malaphor of “understatement”, “overstatement’, and “over exaggeration”.  The latter is frowned on by some linguists as being redundant, but my research indicates it is a legitimate idiom, meaning wildly or excessively exaggerating.  The recent kerfuffle on the audience numbers at the recent US inauguration is perhaps a good example.  A big thanks to Nate Brogin for hearing this one and sending it in!


Let the cards lay where they fall

This beauty was uttered by James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers in a post game interview after the Steelers/Chiefs playoff game.  Regarding the upcoming playoff game against the Patriots, he said “I’ll just go give everything I’ve got,” Harrison told NBC’s Michele Tafoya of the showdown with the Patriots. “Let the cards lay where they fall.”
This is a mash up of “let the chips fall where they may” (let something happen regardless of the consequences) and “lay your cards on the table” (tell someone honestly what you think or what you plan to do).  The confusion lies in the words “chips” and “cards”, both casino items that can certainly fall off the table from time to time.  A big shout out to Steve Grieme for hearing this one, immediately writing it down, and sending it in!
Did you like this malaphor?  I have plenty more from the sports world in my book, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors” available on Amazon now!  Click on