We can’t give up our guard right now

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former FDA Commissioner, was interviewed on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” about the coronavirus, and how we are entering the hardest point in the pandemic. This is a conflation of “lower our guard” (to become less vigilant) and “give up” (to yield or relinquish something). “Give up the ghost” (to die) might also be in the mix, given the context. Kudos to Frank King for spotting this in a CNN tweet.


Sounds like you’re juggling a lot of hats

If you follow this website, you will know the name of Naomi David, dubbed “The Queen of Malaphors”. Oops, she did it again and uttered this gem, which is a congruent conflation of “wearing many hats” and “juggling/keeping balls in the air”, both meaning to hold many responsibilities at the same time. Since she was talking to Katie Hatfield Norwood, “hats” might have been on her mind.

Did you know hat spinning is a thing?  In the final years of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century, hat spinning was a fairly standard and common form of juggling. Today this art form is performed by perhaps as few as two or three jugglers in the entire world. For those who have never seen it, hat spinning can perhaps be best described as a cross between plate spinning and devil stick, with a flimsy, broad-brimmed hat being manipulated by one or two long sticks held in the juggler’s hands. https://www.juggle.org/hat-spinning-history-instruction-and-performers/#:~:text=One%20of%20the%20best%20known,art%20form%20was%20Walter%20Bellonini.&text=Other%20early%20jugglers%20who%20performed,least%20as%20early%20as%201875.

A big thanks to Naomi David and Katie Norwood for this one.


That’s the name of the deal

Karine Jean-Pierre. Chief of Staff for Kamala Harris, was talking about the importance of returning mail in ballots at drop boxes or in person at this late date and to avoid mailing them. This is a congruent conflation of “name of the game” and “here’s the deal”, both meaning the most important aspect of something. “Here’s the deal” is a frequent expression uttered by both Biden and Harris. A big thanks to Bruce Ryan for hearing this one and sending it in.


Every step of the turn

Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania Attorney General, was talking on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and uttered this conflation. It is a mashup of “every step of the way” (throughout the entire process) and “at every turn” (at every opportunity). Maybe this is one Trump should use when touting that the pandemic is about to end. A big thanks to Frank King for hearing this one and sending it in.


She shouldn’t sleep where she eats

There was a conversation about a person who got intimate with someone related to her boss. This is a nice conflation of “sleep around” (to engage in sex with many different partners) and “don’t shit where you eat” (do not engage in troublesome or dubious behavior at home or at work). A big thanks to Doree Simon for spotting this one and sending it in!

Fun fact: Eating while asleep is a disorder. It’s called sleep-related eating disorder (SRED) and is a type of parasomnia (sleep disorder) characterized by abnormal eating patterns during the night. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/12123-sleep-related-eating-disorders#:~:text=People%20with%20sleep%2Drelated%20eating,the%20night%20with%20full%20awareness.


He’s telling people that we’ve turned the bend

Joe Biden, appearing last night on 60 minutes, was discussing how Trump is handling the coronavirus pandemic and what he is telling the American people:

“Right now, the biggest domestic issue is our health. Right now, COVID. COVID, the way he’s handling COVID is just absolutely totally irresponsible. He’s telling people that we’ve turned the bend, in one of his recent rallies. Well, he’s gone– as my grandpop would say, he’s gone ’round the bend. I mean, we are in real trouble.” https://www.cbsnews.com/news/joe-biden-democratic-presidential-candidate-kamala-harris-60-mintues-interview-norah-odonnell-2020-10-25/

“Turned the bend” is a congruent conflation of “turned the corner” and “rounded the bend”, both meaning to begin to find success after a particularly difficult or troubling period. Trump has used both phrases frequently, and even uttered another malaphor in the same vein – “rounding the turn”. https://malaphors.com/2020/09/07/were-really-rounding-the-turn/. Corners and bends are mental mixups waiting to happen, apparently. A big thank you to Frank King who heard this one and passed it on!


Four more years of fun and roses

Political discussion, and the speaker was talking sarcastically about if Trump is re-elected, it will be four more years of fun and roses. This is a congruent conflation of “fun and games” and ” days of wine and roses”, both describing a happy time. “A bed of roses” might also be in the mix. The speaker could have been thinking of Guns N’ Roses, considering guns rhymes with fun. A big thanks to John Kooser for hearing this one and sening it in.


It’s no sweat off my nose

A small business owner decided to top selling biscotti because a new coffee shop down the street started selling them. It was not a big deal to her, and she uttered this great malaphor. It is a congruent conflation of “no skin off my nose/back” and “no sweat”, both meaning not a problem or concern. A big thanks to Vicki Ameel Kovacs for uttering this beauty and Mike Kovacs for sending it in. The picture below was suggested by Mike, in honor of tonight’s final Presidential debate.


Unless it’s razor close

Political pundit David Plouffe on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell was talking about voters in swing states, and votes coming in on Election Day. He said that “…unless it’s razor close, we are going to know…” who the winner is on election night. This is a mashup of “razor- thin” (very thin) and “too close to call” (a margin too narrow to make a decision). Both describe narrow measurements. The speaker may have been thinking of his razor giving himself a close shave. Whatever. It’s a great malaphor, and a big thanks to Frank King for hearing it and passing it on.


He is head in with his work

Some friends were discussing a friend’s recent concentration on work. This is a mashup of “head on” (directly, without hesitation) snd “all in” (fully committed to a task or endeavor). “Head down” (avoid attention or trouble) might also be in the mix. Perhaps the speaker was indicating his friend was not only focused on work but also in staying out of trouble? A big thanks to Ben Geier for uttering this one and Kevin Hatfield for hearing it and sending it in.