I am going to take it by ear

This jumble was said by a friend’s daughter in response to a question as to when she would act on something.  It is a congruent conflation of “play it by ear”  and “take it as it comes”, both meaning to deal with a situation as it develops and without a plan.  The speaker might have been envisioning someone pulling another by the ear when she spoke.  “Take it on the chin” (receiving the full brunt of something) might also be in play, with chin and ears being body parts.  “Take it day by day” and/or “take it in stride” also might have been swirling around the brain.  A big thanks to Tina Kooser for hearing this one and John Kooser and Jody Compton for passing it along!

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