I have a beef to pick with you

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!