My hackles were ruffledPosted: February 6, 2019 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: congruent conflation, expressions, humor, language, malaphor, raise my hackles, ruffle my feathers, words Leave a comment
This was overheard at a nearby table at breakfast. This is a brilliant congruent conflation of “ruffle (ones’) feathers” and “raise (one’s) hackles”, both meaning to make one irritated or angry. “Ruffle” and “raise” both begin with the letter r, possibly contributing to the mix. By the way, do you know what “hackles” are? Hackles are the hairs on the back of an animal’s neck, which stick up when the animal feels fearful or angry (late 1800s). So, the two expressions involve some type of body covering sticking up, a perfect explanation of the mashup. A bravo to Sam Edelmann who heard this one all the way from India.