At the drop of a beat AND Hold the brakes

Double malaphor!! This is as rare as a double rainbow sighting.  Both of these malaphors were heard on one episode of the NBC show First Dates.  “At the drop of a beat” is a congruent conflation of “at the drop of a hat” and “in a heartbeat”, meaning to do something immediately.  Hat and heart might be the culprits here, and perhaps the speaker thinking of the slang phrase “dropping a beat”, meaning to play a beat.  See

“Hold the brakes” is another congruent conflation of “hit the brakes” and “hold your horses”, both meaning to stop something.  Hold and hit are probably the culprits in this mashup.  Outstanding work goes to Steve Grieme for hearing both of these, sending them in, and offering the above deconstruction of each phrase.  Steve is now given the official title of “Malaphor Man”.


4 Comments on “At the drop of a beat AND Hold the brakes”

  1. Beatrice Zablocki says:

    “Siting” or sighting?

    Sent from my iPad


  2. davemalaphor says:

    Right as usual. Will correct.

  3. Bob Marchinetti says:

    Not sure if this qualifies but as a Mets announcer, Ralph Kiner once said, “On Fathers Day, we again wish you all happy birthday.” Talk about mixing up two ideas!

  4. davemalaphor says:

    More like a Yogi Berra comment!

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