You have to be on your P’s and Q’s

Ike Taylor, a cornerback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was overheard saying:

“With a future Hall of Fame quarterback like Drew Brees, man, you have to be on your P’s and Q’s. He’s the captain of that team and it showed today. If he sees something, he’s going to hit it. He doesn’t miss a lot. Regardless of how much you feel like you’ve got him rattled, he stays in the pocket. He did what he needed to do today.”

This is an excellent malaphor, mixing “on your toes” (stay alert) and “mind your P’s and Q’s” (pay careful attention to one’s behavior).   A big thank you to me for reading this in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.



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 will help you get your toe in the door

This mix-up was heard last week on the Today Show.  A person was giving advice on how women can network to get back into a career after being out of work for a long time.  She gave an example of web ideas and then uttered this great malaphor.  It is a mash up of “get your foot in the door” (start at a low level in an organization in order to get a better job in that organization) and “dip your toe in the water” (start carefully or test things first).   So perhaps a toe in the door is almost getting the job.  I note that Australians say “get a leg in the door” instead of “foot in the door”, indicating that they are expecting a little higher level entry position?  Certainly their minimum wage indicates so (Australia 15.96/hr vs. US 7.25/hr).  Thanks to Ron Marks for sending this one in!

He doesn’t want to appear to be pushing on anyone’s toes

I can’t remember the context of this odd malaphor but it could be a mash up of “stepping on someone’s toes” (offend someone) and possibly “push the envelope” (to go further beyond the accepted limits).  However, I think “pushover” (a person easily taken advantage of)  or “pushy” (overly forward) is probably what the speaker was thinking of as he might be describing himself as both not offending his audience and taking advantage of them.