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It’s not number one on the burner

The Malaphorer in Chief, Donald Trump, uttered this beauty when he was discussing his idea to purchase Greenland.  “It’s not number one on the burner, I can tell you that.”  This is a congruent conflation of “not number one on the list” and “not on the front burner”, both meaning not a high priority.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/kudlow-says-white-house-is-looking-at-trying-to-buy-greenland/2019/08/18/ab367b6c-c1bb-11e9-b5e4-54aa56d5b7ce_story.html.

This one was heard by several loyal malaphor followers, including Barry Eigen, Donna Calvert, and Frank King.  This Trump malaphor is not the first.  Check my book out, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors” (available on Amazon) for more mashups from him.  There are also many more on this blog.  Search “Trump”.

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They put me through hoops and ladders

A baker was referring to the health department inspection and uttered this mixup.  It is a conflation of “”jump through hoops” (force someone to face challenges) and “put (someone) through the wringer” (force someone to endure harsh criticism).  Both phrases involve requiring a person to do something, in this case a health department inspection, and both share the word “through”.  The speaker was also probably conjuring up in his mind the game “Chutes and Ladders”.  Kudos to Sam Edelmann who overheard this gem.

He flows with the wind

This was uttered by Congressman Max Rose (D-NY) on MSNBC’s Morning Joe show.  Rose was talking about efforts to pass gun legislation and he said, referring to Trump, “this President, I believe, has no inner core beliefs.  He flows with the wind.”  This is a congruent conflation of “goes with the flow” and “blows with the wind”, both meaning to act according to prevailing circumstances rather than a consistent plan.   “Blow” rhymes with “flow” which could have contributed to the mashup.  A shout out to Mike Kovacs for hearing this one and sending it in.  Picture suggested by Mike!


He’s walking on thin water

The speaker was talking about someone who needed to be careful.  This is a mashup of “walking on thin ice” (to proceed with caution or great care) and I think “in deep water” (an overwheming situation) because of the context.  However, “walk on water” (do something extraordinary or impossible) certainly should not be ruled out, as it is scrambled in the malaphor.  A shout out to David Stephens who heard this one.  David said that he recently slipped on a wet floor and broke his toe so this malaphor really resonated with him.

Did you like this malaphor?  Catch ’em all in my book, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”, available on Amazon for a cheap 7.99  It’s a perfect addition to your bathroom library.


Impeachment is on a slow burner

This was uttered by political pundit Eleanor Clift on MSNBC.  It is a mashup of “put (something) on the back burner” (to hold off on something or to postpone something) and “slow boil” (to do something gradually).  Also in the mix is “slow burn” (slowly increasing anger).  A big thanks again to Frank King, the guy who has ears like a hawk.


bottom of the pack

Joy Reid on MSNBC was discussing the Democratic debate and the attacks from those candidates with the least to lose, referring to them as “those polling at the bottom of the pack”.  This is a mashup of “back of the pack”  (last ones) and “bottom of the barrel” (least desirable).  I suppose this malaphor fits if you are referring to playing cards, or when you have been binge swiping on Tinder and have run out of people – see Urban Dictionary https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=bottom%20of%20the%20pack

A shout out to Frank King, a malaphor spotting regular.  Good ear, Frank!


One day you might be on the other side of the stick

Bob Phillips, state director of the advocacy group Common Cause, uttered this one to The Guardian.  Here is the full quote to give you context:

“Unfortunately, the Democrats, some of them will say, ‘We can’t wait to win in 2020, take it back and gerrymander the hell out of them’,” said Phillips. “Now, that’s not what I want, but it’s out there, and it’s playing in the minds of the majority party. If you are the majority party and you don’t do reform, one day you might be on the other side of the stick.”: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jul/27/us-supreme-court-2020-election-gerrymandering.

This is a mashup of “other side of the coin” (opposite aspect of something) and “short end of the stick” (unequal outcome of a deal that results in a disadvantage).  Ends and sides must be the reason for this mental scramble.  A big thanks to Barry Eigen for spotting this one.

You won’t get the other side of the stick if you buy the book of books on malaphors, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”, available on Amazon today!  https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692652205