We don’t step on each others’ feathers

This wonderful malaphor comes from Matt Deppe, first time contributor to the site.  Last week a friend was trying to explain to him why he and his house mate get along so well.  “I guess it works so well because we don’t step on each others’ feathers”.  This is a mash up of “step on someone’s toes” (to insult or offend someone) and “ruffle someone’s feathers” (to annoy or irritate someone).


It added another feather to his bow

Bow, Arrows, & Quiver

Bow, Arrows, & Quiver (Photo credit: Travis S.)

This is a mash up of “another string to his bow” (an Australian and British idiom meaning an extra skill or qualification), “another arrow to his quiver” (American version of the same),  and “a feather in his cap” (an honor or award).  The confusion certainly lies in the meanings of both phrases which are similar, but also that bows and arrows conjure up feathers in headdresses.   Arrows also contain feathers at the ends.  I can also see the speaker confusing bow with boa, and that of course leads to feather boas, a must have item in burlesque shows.  Lots going on in this malaphor.  Thanks to Eric Marsh for sending this one in.