My mom won’t be down my butt

Let’s hope not.  The speaker was referring to her Mom bugging her about something, and was uttered by the Mistress of Malaphors, Naomi David.  It is a congruent conflation of “breathing down my neck” and “up my butt”, both expressions meaning to be closely watching or monitoring someone.   Again, mixing body parts and directions often produce malaphors.


They were going butt-to-butt

In describing an angry argument, the speaker uttered this malaphor, a mash up of the phrases “head-to-head” and “butting heads”, both describing a confrontation or argument.  Head butting also comes to mind, among other images…  I will not display a picture for this malaphor.  Many thanks to Naomi David for giving me this gem!

He just wanted to cover his neck

This is a mash up of “cover his butt (ass)” (make excuses or otherwise take action to avoid being blamed) and “don’t stick your neck out” (avoid risk).  This malaphor was said by a person describing his physician and the excessive treatment given.  I think it also applies to Congress lately…. A tip of the hat to JoErin O’Leary for sending this one in!

Nip that in the butt

While this can be classified as a malaprop (inadvertent substitution of a word with a strong phonetic similarity), it can also be considered a bona fide malaphor, mixing “nip it in the bud” (put a stop to something in its early development) and “kick in the butt” (forceful encouragement).   I have heard this idiom misused often by younger people, so my guess is that it is probably a phrase that has mutated from the past generation (mine) to the current one.  Another example is the phrase “buck naked”, mutating to the current “butt naked”.  Still another is the word “moot” to “mute”, as in “that’s a mute point”.   Am I correct, or am I just turning into a grouchy old man?

A big thanks to Judge Yvonne for sending this one in.