I’m working without a rope

This is a good example of an incongruent conflation (mix of two idioms that have opposite or unrelated meanings). The speaker was talking about making a meal from scratch and clearly meant “net” for “rope”. It is a mashup of “working without a net” (to take an action that is risky) and “teaching (one) the ropes” (to explain basic details in learning something). One idiom describes essentially free lance work and the other details or steps of work. “On the ropes” (to be near failure or collapse) might also be in the mix as the speaker was talking about being in a precarious position. A big thanks to Lou Pugliese for hearing this one (and Tom Justice for uttering it)!



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