Malaphor of the Year (2018): Whatever Turns Your Boat

Malaphors were everywhere in 2018, particularly in the political world.  MSNBC was where the action was, contributing several malaphors each month (a big thanks to Frank King and Mike Kovacs who heard quite a few). However, this year’s winner does not come from that world, but from a conversation between two friends.

Coming up with this year’s winner was difficult, given the many excellent conflations.  The image conjured up by I need to clear my chest (February) was a troubling one, as the malaphor was heard on “My 600 lb. Life”.  Similarly, He’s a real blowhole (May) was quite descriptive.  And then there were the Trumpworld malaphors.  Favorites of this year were Cohen is in hot soup (April), Trump shoots off the cuff (April), Will it pay fruit? (June), and Stormy McDaniels (August), a delightful word blend.   I particularly liked He can drink anybody under the bus (August).

But after careful deliberation, the best malaphor this year has to go to the overheard conversation at a WalMart at midnight.  Instead of making an insult about an outrageous outfit, the friend merely shrugs her shoulders and utters the great line, Whatever turns your boat (December).  A big thanks to John Kooser for hearing this masterpiece.

Fourth place – Will it pay fruit?

Third place – Michael Cohen is in hot soup

Second place – He’s a real blowhole

First place – Whatever turns your boat

Thanks to all who submitted malaphors this year and for following this blog.  Happy New Year to all and happy malaphor hunting in 2019!

The Malaphor King


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