This descriptive malaphor is a congruent conflation of “blew our minds” and “knocked our socks off” (surprised someone thoroughly). It was uttered by scientists when they saw a picture of Charon, Pluto’s largest moon. In my limited research, I found that this actually might be a legitimate phrase in England. But, since this is a U.S. blog, I am treating it as a malaphor. After all, I am the malaphor king. A big planetary thank you to Mike Kovacs, who has now been elevated (or demoted?) to Malaphor Science Correspondent.
This wonderful congruent conflation is a mash up of “at the drop of a hat” and “stop on a dime”, both meaning an action done instantly. Drop and stop are four letter words that rhyme, adding to the befuddlement. This beauty was heard at a court hearing. Kudos to Sam Edelmann for sending this one into Malaphor central!
This is a wonderful malaphor involving the phrases “off- the- cuff” (speak spontaneously without rehearsal) and “shooting from the hip” (speaking frankly). Phil Jackson, in deciding to take over the New York Knicks, uttered this malaphor at the beginning of his acceptance speech. Click on the link below and then click on the video in the link.. He says, in the opening sentence, that “I’m shooting from the cuff.” Thanks to Martin Pietrucha for hearing this one and passing it on!
Phil Jackson shook hands with New York Knicks owner James Dolan, walked gingerly to the podium and comfortably lifted the microphones to fit his 6-foot-8 frame.
“I don’t have prepared remarks, as you can see,” Jackson said, practically bragging. “I’m shooting from the cuff.”
This is a mash up of two phrases describing perfection – “dressed to the teeth” (dressed very stylishly with nothing overlooked) and “to a tee (or t)” (perfectly). “Dressed to the nines” (same definition as dressed to the teeth) also might be in the mix, but my guess is that the speaker was thinking teeth as tee and teeth are similar in sound. Of course, it is possible that the person spoken about was dressed in a very stylish, perfect looking tee shirt, but doubtful. Many thanks to Sam Edelmann for hearing this one and passing it on.
Howard Fineman on the tv show “Hardball” said a few days ago that Congress’s attitude will not be “let’s roll up our hands and let’s all get together” on various issues. This is an amusing mixture of several thoughts, including “roll up our sleeves” (prepare for hard work), “get your hands dirty” (involve yourself in all parts of a job), and “joining hands” (working together), the latter sort of a “kumbaya” approach to working. Rolling up one’s hands is similar to the Master’s wonderful malaphor, “Let’s roll up our elbows and get to work!” (see posting dated 7/30/12). Many thanks to “my ol’ pal” for spotting this one and sending it in!
This is a mix of the phrases “fits like a glove” (fits very well) and “works like a charm” (works just the way you intended). Both phrases indicate things that are exactly right, so hence the confusion. Also charm and glove are five letter words. A big shout out to Tim Kunzler who uttered this beauty, and Marsha Roberts for ratting him out! 🙂
This is a congruent conflation of “off the top of my head” and “off the cuff”, both expressions meaning to speak without much thought or preparation. It is similar to the 9/16/12 post “he said it off the top of his cuff”. This malaphor came all the way from South Africa. An African National Congress (ANC) spokesperson during a radio interview, in avoiding difficult questions, responded with the opener: “Well, off the cuff of my head . . .” A shout out to Allan Muir for sending this one in!
Breaking malaphor news!! This is a mix of “hot under the collar” (angry) and “hot off the press” (just released or freshly printed). It was heard by the keen ears of Mike Kovacs when he was watching the local news on WPXI in Pittsburgh. The WPXI correspondent reports that neighbors say the suspect was known to get “hot off the collar.”
This malaphor was uttered by Carl Hiassen while being interviewed on Orlando’s local public radio station, WMFE. He was referring to the fact that even though many persons are now getting their news information from the internet instead of print newspapers, “you still need boots on the pavement to gather the facts.” This is a nice mash of “boots on the ground” (troops in place) and “pounding the pavement”.(walking the streets, particularly in looking for employment). A big thanks to Tom Justice for hearing this one!
This malaphor was spoken by Jean Quan, the mayor of Oakland, and appeared in the October 2012 issue of San Francisco Magazine. She meant to say “toot my own horn” (brag), and I think mixed that up with “take my hat off” (pay respect to someone or brag on them), but it could be just a mix up of the visual at a birthday party with party hats and horns. “Feather in one’s cap” also comes to mind, as well as “tip my hand”. Any other suggestions out there would be welcome. A tip of the toque to Mike Kovacs for spotting this one.