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That issue always seems to get kicked down the can

This one was uttered by Fox news anchor Harris Faulkner, talking about Congress’s inability to deal with the budget.  It is a blend of “kick the can down the road” (to postpone or defer an action) and “kick in the can” (a forceful gesture or measure attempting to motivate someone).  A Canadian expression, “a kick at the can” (an opportunity to achieve something) might also be in the mix.  Is Faulkner Canadian?  A big thanks to Laszlo Veres
for hearing this one.
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You are lemmings to the slaughter

Sometimes comments on Facebook produce great malaphors.  This one is no exception.  It was uttered by an anti-vaxxer accusing everyone of not knowing or wanting to know the “truth”.  It is a mashup of “lambs (or pigs) to the slaughter” (innocently and helplessly, without realizing the danger) and “like lemmings” (doing things without fear or thought).  Both idioms concern large numbers usually, and both refer to people who really aren’t thinking but merely following.  I suppose when lemmings jump over the cliff they are going to their “slaughter”.  A big thanks to Cassandra Anne who spotted this one on her facebook feed.


Now Sloppy Steve has been dumped like a dog

#3 in the “Fire and Fury” malaphor series.   This one comes courtesy of the President of the U.S. Donald Trump, in one of his twitters responding to the book, “Fire and Fury”.  He says:

“Michael Wolff is a total loser who made up stories in order to sell this really boring and untruthful book. He used Sloppy Steve Bannon, who cried when he got fired and begged for his job. Now Sloppy Steve has been dumped like a dog by almost everyone. Too bad!”  https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/949498795074736129

“Dumped like a dog” is a conflation of “dropped like a hot potato” (to abandon someone or something suddenly),  “dumped” (to reject), and “like a whipped dog” (ashamed because you have been defeated).  The latter seems particularly appropriate given the context.  Of course, dogs do take “dumps” which may have been in the speaker’s mind.  A big thanks to David Barnes for sniffing this one out.


At the same token

This subtle malaphor was uttered in a Washington Wizards post-game analysis show.  It is a congruent conflation of “by the same token” and “at the same time” (introducing parallel or closely contrasting information).  This one seems to be fairly common, given the number of internet hits.  One I particularly like is from Tommy Wiseau, director and star of the cult movie, “The Room”.  In an interview he stated:

“I tried to eat vegan, to be honest with you, and I tried to all different styles, it doesn’t work for me. At the same token. I think the world has been changed. The perfect example would be, how do you raise the chicken, which direction are you going, as a farmer. I think it’s something, what I personally didn’t know about. I mean just a few, I came by it by doing some research and I say “Wow, that’s something that never crossed my mind.”

http://splitsider.com/2015/04/tommy-wiseau-discusses-americans-chickens-and-questions-he-hates/

A big thanks to Bruce Ryan for hearing this one and passing it on.


It’s as plain as a hair on your face

This is the second in the “Fire and Fury” malaphor series.   Steve Bannon, quoted in Michael Wolff’s book, was talking about how Mueller’s investigation is about money laundering:

“You realize where this is going,” he is quoted as saying. “This is all about money laundering. Mueller chose [senior prosecutor Andrew] Weissmann first and he is a money-laundering guy. Their path to fucking Trump goes right through Paul Manafort, Don Jr and Jared Kushner … It’s as plain as a hair on your face.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/03/donald-trump-russia-steve-bannon-michael-wolff

This is a mashup of “it’s as plain as the nose on your face” (very obvious or noticeable) and “not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin” (never; no way).   I suppose a hair on one’s face is also noticeable, depending on the location.  A big thanks to Tom Justice and Ron MacDonald for both spotting this malaphor and sending it in!


She is dumb as a brick

Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, called Ivanka Trump, the president’s eldest daughter and top White House adviser, “dumb as a brick” in journalist Michael Wolff’s new book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, according to The Wall Street Journal, which reviewed a manuscript of the book on Wednesday.  https://www.aol.com/article/news/2018/01/03/steve-bannon-says-ivanka-trump-is-dumb-as-a-brick/23323301/

This is a nice congruent conflation of “thick as a brick” and “dumb as a rock (or post)”, both meaning someone incredibly stupid.  Perhaps the person doing the name calling should reflect on his own intelligence, considering his bungling of idioms.

The phrase reminds me of the title of Jethro Tull’s fifth album, “Thick as a Brick”, released in 1972.  It is considered today as one of the classics of progressive rock.  Perhaps Bannon was listening to this album when he uttered his remark.

A big shout out to Mike Kovacs for spotting this timely beauty.


I’m going to dig into this with both feet

While researching home prices in Florida, my friend said this to his wife.  This is a nice congruent conflation of “dig in” and “jump (dive) in with both feet”, both meaning to work on something enthusiastically.  The speaker may have been thinking about feet as “dig in (one’s) heels” might have been on his mind as well.  With jumping and diving in the mix, he may also have been considering a pool with that Florida house.  A big thanks to Lou Pugliese for uttering and sharing this one!