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!