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Whatever turns your boat

Overheard at a WalMart at midnight: two women were talking about another woman’s unusual outfit and one of them uttered this classic malaphor.  It is a congruent conflation of “whatever floats your boat” and “whatever turns you on”, both meaning whatever makes you happy.  The phrases both begin with “whatever”, and with boats capsizing, you can see where the confusion arises.  A big thanks to John Kooser who heard this one while doing some midnight shopping.

If you enjoyed this one, and are thinking about how to fill that Christmas stocking, why not get the malaphor book, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”?  It’s available on Amazon for a cheap 7.99.  Makes a great addition to any bathroom.

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Beat the iron while it’s hot

This beauty comes from a video tutorial on Getting Google Reviews.  It is a nice mashup of “strike while the iron is hot”  (to make most of an opportunity or favorable conditions while one has the chance to do so) and “beat (someone) to the punch” (to do something before someone else does).  Both idioms involve doing something early.  A big thanks to Frank King for seeing this one and passing it on.  Shout out to The Ranking Academy for giving us this blooper.  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCopSeO4OPWd5M9zzPhA6qpg

 


He’s a wild cannon

This was heard in a court proceeding.  It is a congruent conflation of “wild card” and “loose cannon”, both describing someone or something as unpredictable.  A big thanks to Sam Edelmann who heard this one and passed it on.

We will be able to put all the dots in a row

Jackie Speier (D-CA) uttered this nice malaphor on the All In with Chris Hayes show on MSNBC (11/28/18).  Here is the context:  “and I have no doubt in my mind that we will at some point, when the Mueller investigation is over, be able to put all the dots in a row and draw a line through them.”  This is a congruent conflation of “get your ducks in a row” (organize your affairs) and “connect the dots” (to understand something by piecing together bits of information).  “Dots” and “ducks” sound alike and the idea of connecting dots is similar to a row.  A big thanks to Mike Kovacs for hearing this one.


Don’t chew with your mouth full

Did your mother ever tell you this?  Well, the submitter’s mom did, and it is a nice conflation of the admonitions  “don’t chew with your mouth open” and “don’t talk with your mouth full”.  The corollary of course is “don’t talk with your mouth open”, advice many should follow.  A big thanks to Timothy Kendall for sharing this one.


Boiled to a head

This one comes from the sports world.  Here’s the full context: “Sunday’s Bills-Jaguars game started off tense when Jalen Ramsey took time from his busy day to remind Buffalo’s players they were trash. That conflict boiled to a head in the third quarter when a brawl erupted on the turf at New Era Field.”   Here’s the citation: https://www.sbnation.com/2018/11/25/18111422/jaguars-bills-fight-leonard-fournette-shaq-lawson.

This is a nice conflation of “boiled over” (to become extremely intense or out of control) and “come to a head” (to reach a point of intensity at which action must be taken).  “Come to a boil” (to reach a crucial point) is also probably in the mix considering the context.  A boil on the skin has a “head” of sorts and so could have been in the writer’s mind.  A big thanks to Barry Eigen for spotting this one!


It’s petering down

No, this was not said in an erectile dysfunction commercial, but rather by Heidi Przybyla on MSNBC’s Morning Joe the other day.  She was talking about the Mueller investigation.  It is a congruent conflation of “petering out” and “winding down”, both meaning to slowly come to a conclusion or end.  Another tip of the hat to Frank King for spotting this one.  He has the ears of a hawk.