Just wanted to check base

A daughter was texting her father to see how things were going and said she just wanted to check base. This is a nice congruent conflation of “touch base” and “check in”, both meaning to make contact or renew communications with someone. Baseball pitchers also do this. A tip of the hat to John Kooser for submitting this one!


Maryland is crawling their way back

This was spoken during the Virginia/Maryland Lacrosse Championship, when Virginia was ahead at the time (Virginia ultimately won). It is a nice conflation of “clawing your way back” (gradually achieve something by using a lot of effort and determination” and “crawling back to (someone)” (to go back to someone humbly). “Crawl” and “Claw” is obviously where the mixup occurred, as the words are almost mirrors of one another. A big thanks to Martin Pietrucha who heard this one and discerned the subtle difference.


Straight off the hip

This is a rare “tri-form” malaphor uttered by Jonah Johnston in the show, “7 Little Johnstons”. Jonah was talking about the sports podcast he and his two friends started. Here’s the clip:

This is a triple mashup, consisting of “straight from the heart” (with deep sincerity), “right off the bat” (immediately), and “shoot from the hip” (to speak rashly without considering the consequences). “Straight off the bat” is a valid idiom (see Free Dictionary), but I submit an uncommon one and probably not in the speaker’s mind. The above three seem to be swirling around in Jonah’s brain. A huge thank you to Mike Kovacs for hearing this unicorn.


They’re talking out of both sides of their neck

Ronald Greene’s attorney was talking about the Louisiana police and a cover up on MSNBC’s Velshi show when he uttered this malaphor. It’s a mashup of “talking through the back of (one’s) neck” (exaggerate, often to the point of making false statements) and “talking out of both sides of (one’s) mouth” (maintain contradictory positions in an attempt to please the most people). This conflation combines the meanings of both idioms into one new one. A big thanks to Jim Kozlowski for hearing this one.


Things went down south quickly

This gem was noticed in a news article concerning a shooting at a Pittsburgh mall. “A store manager tells KDKA that an altercation that began as a harmless fight between two groups of teenagers occurred outside of their store. Things went down south quickly when a gun was pulled, causing the mall to implement its lockdown procedure, which led to the arrest of two people.”

https://meaww.com/pennsylvania-juveniles-arrested-shootout-ross-park-mall

This is a mashup of “went south” (fell apart) and “went down” (occurred, or taken place). “Went” is the operative word here, and the source of the confusion. A big thanks to Donna Doblick for spotting this one!


Do you want to second check me?

A husband and wife were talking and the wife made a comment that raised an eyebrow. She responded with this nice mashup of “double check” (go over a second time) and “second-guess” (to question or doubt someone). A big thanks to Martin Pietrucha for sending this one in!


You’re really bumming her down

A dog was on the bed and the wife was making the dog get down off the bed. The husband blurted out this malaphor, a combo of “bummed out” (sad or discouraged) and “bring down” (to make someone sad or worsen the mood). Both refer to sadness and dejection, and bumming and bringing are similar in sound. A big thanks to John Kooser for not only sending this one in but also unintentionally saying it.


Keep a pulse on that

A representative from The Arlington County VA VICAP (Virginia Insurance Counseling and Assistance program) was conducting a webinar on Medicare basics. In stressing the need to keep up on frequent changes in Medicare plans she told everyone to “keep a pulse on that”.  This is a mash up of “keep an eye on (someone/something)” (to monitor something or someone closely) and “keep (one’s) finger on the pulse” (be aware of current trends and happenings). Considering her audience, maybe the mixed phrase WAS intentional…. A big thanks to Bruce Ryan for hearing this one and sending it in!

This one reminds me of a Trumpaphor uttered before the 2016 election. It was so good it won the 2015 Malaphor of the Year Award. https://malaphors.com/2015/07/21/i-have-a-pulse-to-the-ground/


Let’s get this show rolling

This one comes from the National Geographic tv show, “Life Below Zero”. It is a congruent conflation of “get the ball rolling” and “get this show on the road”, both meaning to get something started. A big thanks to Mike Ameel for hearing this one and sending it in! This is the second malaphor to come from this tv, show, both spotted by Mike! https://malaphors.com/2016/03/28/he-is-green-around-the-edges/


Cross bases

From a work zoom call uttered by a co-worker: “I’ll ask the next time I cross bases with him.”  This is a mashup of “cross paths” (encounter someone) and “touch base” (contact someone or update someone). This is a near congruent conflation, as both phrases involve an interaction between people. rh, both meaning to encounter or contact somewomeonconfObviously cross paths and touch base. A big thanks to Mike Ameel for hearing this one and passing it on!