They’re right on my coattails

This is a nice, subtle malaphor.  It was spoken by Penn State hockey player David Goodwin.  “The thing is, with records like that, yeah I might catch him, but guys like Andrew Sturtz (39 goals) and (Chase) Berger and Denis (Smirnov), they’re right on my coat tails.”

This is a mix of “right on my tail” (following someone closely) and “riding (on) the coattails of (someone)” (to benefit from someone else’s success).  The causes for the confusion?  Right and ride sound similar, and both expressions have the word “tail”.   A hat tip to Martin Pietrucha for seeing this one and sending it in!


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