This terrific word blend was uttered by our Malaphorer-in-Chief at a rally in Michigan:
During his rally in Freeland, Michigan, Trump told the packed and largely maskless crowd that “Michigan gave us Motang,” then added “Gave us Motown, gave us the Mustang.”
You can hear the clip here: https://www.mediaite.com/news/watch-trump-tells-crowd-michigan-gave-us-motang-and-twitter-has-a-field-day/
It is of course a mashup of Motown and Mustang, two things that Trump said Michigan gave us. Word blends are a subset of malaphors. They are unconscious blends of words to make an unintentional new word. The word sounds or looks correct at first blush, but then on closer examination is incorrect. Examples on my website are “Buckminster Palace” (Buckingham and Westminster, and/or possibly Buckminster Fuller) and “split-minute decision” (split second and last minute). Word nerds might say these are portmanteaus, but a portmanteau is a combination of two (or more) words or morphemes, and their definitions, into one new word.
A big thank you to Bruce Ryan for hearing this one and sending it in immediately. It is actually getting quite a buzz on Twitter.
My wife said this one when discussing a spouse who was earning most of the money in the household. It is a word blend malaphor of “breadwinner” (a person who earns money to support a family) and “wage earner” (a person who works for a salary). Check out my word blends I have posted over the years. Just type word blend in the Search feature on the website. Also, I have a chapter devoted to these special malaphors in my book, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”, available on Amazon for cheap!
Someone was referring to the Repbulicans’ defense in the Trump impeachment hearings. This is a nice word blend of “humbug” (deceptive or false talk) and “mumbo jumbo” (intended to cause confusion). Both expressions refer to misleading someone. Maybe it’s a new expression, meaning deceptive talk meant to confuse? A big thanks to John Kooser who overheard this one.
This is a word blend of “”turnaround” ( a complete change in opinion or method) and “comeback” (a return to popularity). As I have noted before in previous posts, malaphors can be word blends or idiom blends. The word blend seems to be a less common phenomenon.
Not quite Rowan and Martin. The submitter’s wife uttered this nice word blend, which is a conflation of “Funk and Wagnalls” (dictionary/encyclopedia) and “Strunk and White” (American English writing style guide). The Funk/Strunk rhyming is obviously the culprit here. A big thanks to Martin Pietrucha for hearing this one and sending it in.
If you want to look up “malaphors”, purchase the malaphor book, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”, on Amazon. Makes a great stocking stuffer (or fire starter).
This gem was uttered by Maria Teresa Kumar on MSNBC’s Last Word on November 12, 2018. Is it a malaphor? I think it is a malaphor word blend of “bully pulpit” (a public position that allows a person to share his views with a large audience) and “pit bull” (an aggressive and tenacious person). The latter defines the subject and the former was the intended idiom to be used. A big thank you to James Kozlowski for hearing this one and sharing it.
Larry Noble, a campaign finance expert and former general counsel for the Federal Election Commission, uttered this word blend on the PBS News Hour last night. It is a mash up of Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, the two women who alleged to have affairs with Donald Trump before the 2016 election. Malaphors can be word blends as well as idiom blends, such as this one or Buckminster Palace, a blend of Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace (with perhaps a dash of Buckminster Fuller).
Bill Goldberg, host of the History Channel’s “Forged in Fire” uttered this word blend malaphor when describing a particular sword. This is a congruent conflation of “powerhouse” and “workhorse”, both describing a person or thing having great energy or strength.
Word blends are a subset of malaphors. They are an unintentional blending of two or more words. If you type word blend in the search engine on this blog or go to the index and scroll down to Word Blends you will see the many word blends I have posted. Some examples are “Buckminster Abbey” (Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey and maybe Buckminster Fuller), and “blinched” (flinched and blinked). The word blend malaphor is different than the portmanteau. A portmanteau is an intentional blend of two words to create a new word with its own definition. An example is smog (fog and smoke). Word blend malaphors are simply mixed up words with no separate definition and are said unintentionally. I hope you enjoyed my wordplay lesson of the day.
A big thank you to Anthony Kovacs for hearing this word blend and sending it in.
From the submitter: “My coworker just said this when complimenting my singing. He used an expletive the first time, but when he repeated it, he used a euphemism in place of the expletive. When I said, “That’s not what you said before,” he said he was trying to buttercoat it, not realizing that he was mixing two expressions. When I told him that what he just said is a malaphor of butter up and sugarcoat, he said that it perfectly conveyed his sentiment.”
This is a great word blend of “sugarcoat” (palatable, or easy to take) and “butter up” (to be nice to someone by flattery or other means). I think this should be a new phrase in the lexicon, and the above situation is a great example. A big thanks to Diana for sharing this one!
The speaker meant to say “package” but this came out. It is a nice word blend malaphor of “box” and “package”. Since most packages in the mail now come in boxes, thanks to Amazon and the internet, “bockage” was eventually going to be spit out by someone. And really, isn’t it a nice word? Sounds like the lord of the manor pronouncing “package”. Also could be used when there are delays in shipping: “Sorry, we have a bockage right now”. A big thanks to Martin Pietrucha who accidentally blurted this one out and shared it immediately!
If you like this word blend check out my book on malaphors entitled “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”, available on Amazon. Just click this link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0692652205. There’s a whole chapter devoted to word blends, which are not portmanteaus, by the way (explanation in the book!).