At the drop of a beat AND Hold the brakesPosted: June 8, 2017
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 http://onlineslangdictionary.com/meaning-definition-of/drop-a-beat.
“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”.