I don’t harbor any luggage

Pretty whacky, but it was said by the Rochester NY school board President.  “‘I don’t harbor any luggage from our battle over mayoral control,’ White said, noting he and Duffy have known one another for years.”  This is a mash up of “harbor (or hold) a grudge” (to have persistent ill feelings toward another) and “excess (or a lot of) baggage” (a personal history or traumatic experience that has become burdensome).  This is an interesting malaphor as the word luggage does not appear in any of the mixed idioms.  Baggage and luggage are synonymous and also sound alike, so this is where the mix up occurred.  Also “grudge” and “luggage” have similar sounds so the brain might have tried to pluck “grudge” from the swirl of words and instead picked “baggage”.  A big thank you to John Costello for reading this one and passing it on.


3 Comments on “I don’t harbor any luggage”

  1. Excellent analysis, Dave. What our brains do with language is fascinating, isn’t it.

  2. Yvonne Shipley says:

    I knew this had to have come from john costello when i saw. Where this came from. John is an expt spotter

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