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That’s a real ball of worms

worms

worms (Photo credit: Wahj)

This is a mash-up of “can of worms” (a situation which causes difficulty when starting to deal with it) and “the whole ball of wax” (everything).  The mix up may have been caused by the words worms and wax, both starting with w, and that both idioms have the preposition “of” in them.  In addition, the context was an administrative hearing where the speaker was describing his home life, indicating that everything was a mess, hence the conflation of the two phrases.

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One Comment on “That’s a real ball of worms”

  1. […]  “That’s a real ball of worms” https://malaphors.com/2012/12/18/thats-a-real-ball-of-worms/, and “That’ll be a kettle of worms” […]


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