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It’s just a drop in the hat

This may be the mother of all malaphors, given the amount of hits on google where writers unintentionally use this blended idiom when they meant to say “drop in the bucket”.  This of course is a mash up of “a drop in the bucket” (an insignificant contribution to a larger problem) and “at the drop of a hat” (immediately), two distinctively different idioms.  The confusion lies in the use of the two articles the and a, the two prepositions in and of, and also the words bucket and hat, both containers.  Actually, buckets are sometimes used for hats, as in the case of the guitarist Buckethead. 

English: Buckethead in concert at Neumos in Se...

English: Buckethead in concert at Neumos in Seattle. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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