They should not lose their eye on the ball

On Morning Joe, Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Dave Campbell was discussing vaccine development and warning vaccine developers that “they should not lose their eye on the ball”. This is a congruent conflation of “don’t lose sight (of something)” and “keep your eye on the ball”, both meaning to focus/concentrate on something. “Sight” and “eye” are related which may have contributed to this great mashup. Atip of the hat to Donna Calvert for hearing this one and sending it on!


I don’t want to step over anyone’s toes

This is a very nice mashup of “don’t step on (someone’s) toes” (don’t offend someone in interfering with their responsibilities) and “go over (someone’s) head” (to speak to one’s superior rather than talking directly). Both involve avoiding confrontation, making it a perfectly formed malaphor. A big thanks to Connie Dykema Fields for unintentionally uttering this one and sending it in!


Drinking under the influence

In an online seminar regarding the design of autonomous vehicles, one of the researchers was discussing the benefits of autonomous vehicle systems. He said one is that there will be no worries about folks operating motor vehicles while they were drinking under the influence. This is a mashup of “(driving) under the influence” (intoxicated) and “stay alive: don’t drink and drive” (slogan for anti drinking and driving). Seems to me one should remain sober even while “driving” an autonomous vehicle. A tip of the hat to Martin Pietrucha for hearing this one and passing it on!


It’s all peaches and roses

Retired Los Angeles Police Homicide Detective Greg Kading uttered this one on Season 1, Episode 1 of the Netflix series Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel. It’s a nice congruent conflation of “peaches and cream” and “a bed of roses”, both describing an easy, comfortable situation. This one is reminiscent of an earlier post, “four more years of fun and roses”. https://malaphors.com/2020/10/23/four-more-years-of-fun-and-roses/

A big thank you to Vicki and Mike Kovacs for sending this one in.


That ship has flown

The speaker was playing an online board game and made a comment about how it was too late for anyone else to win the game. She then uttered this nice malaphor. It is a mashup of “that ship has sailed” (some possiblity ot option is no longer available or likely) and “fly the coop” (to leave or escape (something)). This one is similar to the Austin Powers’ malaphor I posted a few years ago: “That train has sailed.” https://malaphors.com/2015/11/13/that-train-has-sailed/ Transportation mixups.

A tip of the hat to Andy Jacobs for hearing this one and passing it on! Thank you Andy!


Please reach back out

This malaphor was spotted in the closing sentences of an email message from a tech support person: “I want to make sure we take care of all of your concerns. Please reach back out if there’s anything else we can help with.”

This is a congruent conflation of “get back (to someone)” and “reach out (to someone)”, both meaning to make contact with someone, especially to offer help. Perhaps the tech support person served in the military, and was thinking of the term “reachback”, meaning to obtain services, products, or goods that are not forward deployed. A big thank you to David Barnes for spotting this one and sending it in.


They need to roll with the times

A conversation ensued about some people resisting a new initiative at Penn State. The speaker then blurted this one out. It is a mashup of “roll with the punches” (cope with adversity, especially by being flexible) and “get with the times” (to understand or be knowledgable of modern times). “Let the good times roll” may also have been in the speaker’s mind, as I know he is a fan of The Cars. Also perhaps he was thinking of “a roll of dimes”, something he may have done in childhood. Or maybe “Roll Tide!”? A big thanks to Martin Pietrucha who self-reported this malaphor.


A fair shot at the pie

This one comes from the Washington Post’s Daily 202, authored by Olivier Knox:

“As one historian of conservative movements, Rick Perlstein, told my colleague Greg Sargent, Limbaugh played a central role in ‘the rise of reactionary populism. People accustomed to being on top — culturally, socially, economically — were facing an onslaught of liberation movements that were all about giving other people a fair shot at the pie.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/02/18/daily-202-liz-cheney-wants-an-ideas-driven-gop-limbaugh-predicted-her-defeat/

This is a conflation of “a shot at the bigtime” (a bid to become famous or successful) and “a piece/slice of the pie” (a share or part of something). And of course, “a fair shot” (an opportunity) is part of the malaphor. The speaker may also have been craving for an apple pie or key lime shot. A big thanks to Barry Eigen for spotting the malaphor.


It was earth-changing

ABC’s 20/20 aired an episode about a woman’s fraudulent fiance. He told her they were to be married by the Pope and their guests at the wedding mass could include their gay friends and that the gay friends could receive communion. The friend then uttered this great malaphor. Here is the video snippet:

This is a congruent conflation of “earth-shattering/shaking” and “life-changing” , both meaning something having a powerful effect. Maybe also thoughts about climate change going on in the speaker’s head? A tip of the hat to Mike Kovacs for hearing this one and sending it in.


They just decided that they wanted to give him (Trump) a walk

House impeachment manager Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-VI) was on CNN’s State of the Union, and was discussing the impeachment trial and the verdict. Talking about Mitch McConnell’s closing argument that supported the House Managers’ arguments, she said:

“They all agreed,” she added. “They just decided that they wanted to give him a walk and they found a technicality that they created to do so.” https://www.thedailybeast.com/delegate-stacey-plaskett-says-impeachment-trial-needed-more-senators-with-spines

This is a nice conflation of “to give (one) a pass” (accept someone’s improper actions or behavior without punishment) and “walk away from (someone or something)”, (to come through on the other side of an event without suffering any harm). “Let him walk” (acquitted on a criminal charge) was probably also in the mix. Of course, “walk the plank” (to suffer punishment at the hands of someone) might have been on her mind, considering the context. A big thanks to Bruce Ryan for hearing this one and sending it in!