He’s not the sharpest light bulb in the packPosted: March 4, 2016
What’s with light bulbs and tools being confused? A familiar mash up, this time the congruent conflation is “not the sharpest tool in the shed” and “not the brightest light bulb in the pack”, both describing someone who is not very intelligent. The various sayings describing a dimwit are similar sounding and involve something in a unit or package that is unique, hence the confusion. I have posted other variations on this theme – see https://malaphors.com/2015/12/07/youre-not-the-brightest-toolbox-in-the-shed/ and https://malaphors.com/2013/06/24/not-the-brightest-tool-in-the-shed/.
I call the above “idiom overload” when there are just too many sayings swirling around in the head that have the same meaning. Another example of idiom overload is describing the obvious: “is the Pope Catholic?”. “Does a bear shit in the woods?” etc. These get mixed up regularly. A big thanks to Gary Kelly for hearing this one and passing it on!