Tony Grossi, Cleveland sportswriter, was discussing the differences between Cleveland Browns’ owner Art Modell and head coach Paul Brown in Believeland, an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary. It is a conflation of “opposite ends of the spectrum” (completely opposing views) and “wrong side of the tracks (poor area of town). This mix up stems largely I think from the speakers’s mind conjuring up a town with poor on one side and rich on the other, but wanting to convey differences of opinion and views. Track then substituted for spectrum. Kudos to Mike Kovacs, “The Malaphor Hunter”, for hearing this subtle mash up and sending it in!
This one was heard on the t.v. show American Ninja Warriors. It is a nice mash up of “take (pick) up the gauntlet” (to accept or attempt an invitation or challenge) and “setting the bar high” (to establish a desired standard of quality). “Running the gauntlet” (to endure a series of problems or threats) might also be in the speaker’s mind as the show literally requires participants to do just that. Also, “throw down the gauntlet” (to challenge someone to combat or argument) could be in the mix as again it describes the show’s theme. A tip of the hat to Ed Brady who heard this one and passed it on.
The gauntlet was certainly set high when I wrote He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors. Set your gauntlets high and purchase this gem today on Amazon for a mere $6.99. Makes a great stocking stuffer (and bathroom read)! http://www.amazon.com/dp/0692652205
During an excellent discussion on Facebook, one of my friends and loyal malaphor follower and contributor wrote this one and another of my Facebook friends (also a loyal malaphor follower and contributor!) immediately recognized it as a bona fide malaphor. This is a mash up of “cutting off your nose to spite your face” (use self-destructive means to try to solve or fix a problem) and “biting off more than you can chew” (taking on more than you can deal with). Certainly the words bite, chew, and cut are all similar and probably added to the mix up. Also both idioms are of equal length and contain the word “off”. Perhaps the speaker was also thinking of an episode from “The Walking Dead”. Lots of noses bitten off.
The origin of “cutting off your nose to spite your face” is interesting. Wikipedia states that “the phrase is known to have been used in the 12th century. It may be associated with the numerous legends of pious women disfiguring themselves in order to protect their virginity. These cases include Saint Eusebia, Saint Ebba, Saint Oda of Hainault and Saint Margaret of Hungary. The most famous of these cases was that of Saint Ebba (sometimes called Æbbe the Younger), the Mother Superior of the monastery of Coldingham. In 867 AD,Viking pirates from Zealand and Uppsala landed in Scotland. When news of the raid reached Saint Ebba, she gathered her nuns together and urged them to disfigure themselves, so that they might be unappealing to the Vikings. In this way, they hoped to protect their chastity. She demonstrated this by cutting off her nose and upper lip, and the nuns proceeded to do the same. The Viking raiders were so disgusted that they burned the entire building to the ground with the nuns inside.”
A big thanks to Beverly Rollins Sheingold VanDerhei for writing this one and Donna Cosentino for spotting it!
Don’t bite or cut your nose off! Instead, buy the malaphor book “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors” available now on Amazon! Just click here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0692652205. For $6.99, you get lots of laughs and a terrific bathroom book.
On the show “Royal Pains” (S8.E6 Home Sick), there is a discussion of being able to find good news coming out of bad. A woman says to Hank, the main character, “This curve ball has a silver lining.” This is a mash up of “every cloud has a silver lining” (it is possible for something good to come out of a bad situation) and “throw (someone) a curve” (to confuse someone by doing something unexpected or tricky). A big thanks to Isaac Joel for hearing this one and sending it in!
Speaking of silver linings, you need to get the new book on Malaphors if you have not already done so. It’s called He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors and has a guaranteed laugh on every page! Get it now on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/dp/0692652205 or at Create Space at
www.createspace.com/5793567. It’s the creme de la resistance!
Frank King, frequent contributor and “the cardiac comedian” (http://thefunnyhealthcarespeaker.com/) , heard this one on the Rachel Maddow show. A former radical Islamist was the guest who uttered this malaphor a few times. I believe it is a mash up of “stopped in its tracks” (stop someone or something suddenly and completely) and “root out” or “pulled out by the roots” (completely eradicate). Both phrases mean to stop something completely so it is also a congruent conflation. A big thanks to Frank for hearing this one and sending it in!
A brief timeout from posting malaphors to announce that the website has passed the 250,000 views mark! This really is the piece de la resistance. Many thanks to my loyal followers and contributors. May you mix your metaphors on a regular basis!