The speaker was discussing an issue and wanted to get to the heart of the matter. This is a mash up of “get down to the nuts and bolts” (get down to the basic facts) and “everything from soup to nuts” (almost everything one can think of). “Get down to brass tacks” (begin to talk about the important stuff) might also be in the mix given the context. And then there is the Soup Nazi (nutsy?) who also wanted everyone to just get to the heart of the matter and order soup. A big thank you to Elaine Hatfield for hearing this one and passing it on!
Possibly the best congruent conflation to date, this beauty was heard by the now famous Malaphor Hunter, John Costello. From my count this is his 11th contribution to the site. It is a mash up of “have a beef” and “have a bone to pick”, both idioms meaning to have a complaint about something. There are many causes for the unintentional conflation. The obvious one is that the two phrases have the same meaning. Also, bone and beef are four letter words, and are somewhat related (cattle have bones, many cuts of beef have bones). We cut our beef with knives (picks).
This malaphor was also uttered (intentionally) by Stephen Colbert when he interviewed Sir Paul McCartney in 2009:
“I have a beef to pick with you, sir, in that you don’t eat beef,” Colbert said. http://vegetarianstar.com/2009/01/
Thanks to John Costello for hearing this one!
I had to post this one right away, as it comes on the heels of Lara Hayhurst Compton’s “better safe than never”, which we both agree should be Planned Parenthood’s new slogan. “A tough nut to follow” was spoken by Tim Hughes, a talented actor who is currently playing the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz at the Fulton Theater in Lancaster, PA. This malaphor is a mash up of “tough act to follow” (outstanding performance) and “tough nut to crack” (difficult person or problem to deal with). Tough is the operative word here, which my guess led to the malaphor. Of course, Tim might have been referring to a difficult person who gave a great performance! This one is also similar to “tough nut to swallow” see – https://malaphors.com/2013/02/20/that-would-be-a-tough-nut-to-swallow/ A big thank you to Lara Hayhurst Compton for hearing this one and passing it on!
This malaphor, spoken by Sting in the documentary “Twenty Feet from Stardom” (an excellent film by the way), involves the phrases “icing on the cake” (something extra on a successful endeavor) and “cream of the crop” (finest or best). I don’t believe “cream on the cake” is a British expression, but please send me your comments over the pond about this.
It is similar to a previously posted malaphor and the tag for this website, “cream of the cake.” Here is the entire quote from the movie:
“Real musicians, there’s a spiritual component to
what they do…. Success is just cream on the cake.
There’s this idea that you can just go on American
Idol and become a star, but you may bypass the
spiritual… and if you bypass that, then your success
will be wafer-thin.” Sting
Thanks to Barry Eigen for hearing this one and sending it in!
The yuck factor is high on this one, but it’s a great malaphor. It was said by someone who was discussing the possibility of getting more money than she anticipated. This is a congruent conflation of “icing on the cake” and “the rest is just gravy”, both meaning an extra enhancement. Perhaps this one describes a little too much enhancement. Coincidentally, I received this malaphor from two people last week who don’t know each other so kudos to Deb Rose and Jonathan Ogle for sending this one in!