The humidity was off the roof

This nice congruent conflation is a mash up of “off the charts” and “through the roof”, both meaning much more than usual.  It was heard on The Howard Stern show, uttered by that long-time caller to the program, Bobo.   He was describing the climate in Florida.  Many thanks to now Senior Vice President of Malaphors Mike Kovacs for hearing this one on the radio last week and passing it on.



We have to hit the deck running

Is this like boots on the ground?  Not sure, but it was said on Fox News, so perhaps.  This is a mash up of “hit the deck” (to fall down) and “hit the ground running” (start immediately).  I suppose it is an appropriate phrase if on a ship, as the deck is the ground.  However, in context it was certainly a malaphor.  Running deck, as found on cruise ships, might also be in the speaker’s mind.  A shout out to Jack Chandler for hearing this one and passing it along.

The shit hit the roof

Well, maybe in the Hitchcock movie “The Birds”, but in this case, the speaker was trying to say “the shit hit the fan” (when expected trouble materializes) and instead mixed it with “hit the roof” (get angry), creating a juicy (s0rry, wrong description), nice malaphor.  Thanks to Katie Hatfield for her malaphor contribution.

It’s cold as hell outside

This is a jumble of several phrases, including “hot as hell”, “cold as shit”, and “it will be a cold day in hell when…” (unlikely event).  This oxymoron malaphor is fairly common, considering the above expressions and the mixing of temperatures in the brain.  Thanks to Sid Sher for sending this in and admitting he said it!

That will bring some skeletons crawling out of the woodwork

This is a delightful mixture of “skeletons in the closet” (secrets) and “crawling out of the woodwork” (secrets coming out in the open).  The confusion lies in the two phrases referring to secrets and exposing them.   I heard this in a conversation but I cannot reveal the source as I was sworn to secrecy.  We can’t have these malaphors crawling out of the woodwork, can we?

We have so many hurdles to cross

This is a mash up of “clear a hurdle” (overcome an obstacle) and I think “rivers to cross” , borrowed from the great Jimmy Cliff song “Many Rivers to Cross”, based on the context of the malaphor.   “Crossed the Rubicon” (taken action with no return) also comes to mind.  “Jumping through hoops” (to do extra things to get what you want) might also be in the mix, confusing hoops and hurdles.  Thanks to Sam Edelmann for spotting this one!


Jimmy Cliff. | reggae singles sleeves

Gem in a haystack

This is a mash up of “needle in a haystack” (something extremely hard to find) and “hidden gem” (an undiscovered talent or place).  The phrase actually is a great one in context, where a trip advisor reviewer was relating how he had discovered a great restaurant:

Thanks to Lou Pugliese for sending this one in!

She needs to get her ducks in order

Cropped headshot of Matt Lauer

Cropped headshot of Matt Lauer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Matt Lauer  uttered this malaphor last week on the Today show.   He said that the winner of the MegaMillions lottery “needs to get her ducks in order”, a mash up of “ducks in a row” and “house in order”, both meaning to get organized.   This congruent conflation is probably commonly said,  as ducks walk in an orderly fashion and also in a row, both conjuring up the same image.  A big thanks to Victoria Ameel-Kovacs for sending this one in!

Ingrown players

If you have been following this blog and my website – –  you know that the sports world is a gold mine for malaphors.  This beauty was heard on a local sports radio talk show (Pittsburgh).  A guy was talking about the Pirates and criticized the organization for focusing exclusively on “ingrown players” rather than seeking free agents.  This is a congruent conflation of “home-grown” and “in-house”, both meaning something local or conducted within the organization.   Just wondering, but was Tom Herr, the second baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals, an in-grown ballplayer?  A big thanks to Justin Taylor for hearing this one and passing it along!


The company’s stock price is through the moon

In the conclusion to a report today regarding the Tesla Motor Car Corp. CNN news host Erin Burnett described the company’s stock price for the year as being “…through the moon…”  This wonderful malaphor is a mash up of the phrases “through the roof” (prices very high) and “over the moon” (extremely pleased).   Jackie Gleason’s famous line, “to the moon, Alice!” might also have been on Ms. Burnett’s mind.  Many thanks to David Spain for sending this one in and attaching the video with concluding malaphor below: