I can’t put my foot on it

I read this one in the local paper (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) yesterday.  In responding to a question as to why he has been pitching so poorly since the All star break, James McDonald of the Pittsburgh Pirates said, “I can’t put my foot on it yet”.  This malaphor is a combo of “can’t put my finger on it” and “putting my foot down”.  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

2 Comments on “I can’t put my foot on it”

  1. Xavier Lesaffre says:

    Hello Dave,
    Thank you for your new article! I enjoy reading what you write.
    I’m sorry but could I ask you to give a brief definition of the phrases which people mix up?
    For example what does ‘putting my foot down’ mean?
    That would be a tremendous help for people like me who are not English native speakers?

    • davemalaphor says:

      Xavier, Sorry i did not indicate the meanings of the idioms. “Put your foot down” is an expression meaning to take control and demand something. “I put my finger on it” means that you have figured out something. The baseball player wanted to say that as he was having a hard time figuring out why he has played poorly recently – “I haven’t put my finger on it yet”.

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