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If you hear or see a malaphor, please let me know by dropping a comment on the website.  Please include who said it and/or where you heard/saw it.

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254 Comments on “Contact”

  1. Kevin Ross says:

    Thanks. I put it in my cart.

  2. Darrel K says:

    I have a co-worker that inadvertently drops these on a daily basis. I don’t work closely with him anymore, but I used to keep a list.

    My all time favorite: “It depends on what color your rose-colored glasses are.”

  3. Sally Adler says:

    Dear Dave, Please figure this out for me. (It’s from a Washington Post piece on diversity in super hero movies.) Here’s the context paragraph: “What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity. They didn’t want female characters out there,” Gabriel said at the Marvel Retailer Summit, according to Entertainment Weekly. “We saw the sales of any character that was diverse, any character that was new, our female characters, anything that was not a core Marvel character, people were turning their nose up against. That was difficult for us because we had a lot of fresh, new, exciting ideas that we were trying to get out and nothing new really worked.”

    The mala-something: “… people were turning their nose up against.”

    (I don’t even want to start on why the speaker thinks ‘diversity’ refers specifically and, apparently, exclusively, to women!)

  4. Barry Eigen says:

    I just saw one in the Washington Post, in shortened form: “Trump’s window is sinking.” A mashup of “window of opportunity is closing” and “ship is sinking” or “heart is sinking”? Anyhow, a sinking window is not a good thing. Here’s the full quote:

    “THE HONEYMOON IS OVER:

    “– Trump’s window to score early legislative victories is sinking as Congress’s summer recess nears — giving the president just two months to revive his health-care and tax efforts before lawmakers depart Capitol Hill for a long break.”

    Here’s the source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/05/31/daily-202-the-gop-s-invisible-agenda/592d9df4e9b69b2fb981dbf8/?utm_term=.e07bf7d92b04

  5. Gilesy says:

    “He left with his head between his tail”
    Said by a colleague – Kelly “Kallina” Penny a.k.a MoneyPenny – from Melbourne, Australia. We have a shit ton of these, she is a fountain of malaphors, apparently this is due to her super large brain working too quickly for her mouth to keep up. But we all think she’s just a bit thick.

  6. A malaphor that I accidently created myself is “all hands off,” a combination of “all bets off” and “hands down.”

  7. Phillip says:

    My co-worker just said, “I may be speaking out of tongue, but…”
    So, mixing “speaking out of turn” with “speaking in tongues” is what I think we’ve mixed here..

    Love that she drops these occasionally, love that I found this site to share. Keep it up!

  8. Saniya says:

    Hi! I was writing an email to my favourite teacher, and this one popped into my head: ‘Getting on like a car on fire’! 🙂 I really hope this one will be shared!

    Malaphors are an incredible use of the English language, and I’m so, so, so, SO happy that a lovely friend of mine shared this wonderful place, filled with innovation, creativity, passion, dedication, collaboration, and love for the English language! ❤

  9. Saniya says:

    I was writing an email to my favourite teacher, and this one popped into my head: ‘Getting on like a car on fire’! 🙂 I really hope this one will be shared!

    Malaphors are an incredible use of the English language, and I’m so, so, so, SO happy that a lovely friend of mine shared this wonderful place, filled with innovation, creativity, passion, dedication, joy, collaboration, and love for the English language (just like her)! ❤

  10. Taylor says:

    Just discovered your website and I’m so excited. My friends and I have been cracking up about these things for years, not knowing there were other people out there who thought these were hilarious too. I discovered your website when my coworker had said “locked in stone”, and I realized you had posted it previously.

    My coworkers are great at unintentionally saying these things. Here are some of my recent favorites:

    “We’re falling behind the 8 curve” = “Behind the 8 ball” and “throwing a curve ball”?
    “Preaching from the top of the choir” = “Preaching to the choir” and ???
    “I’m just reaching for straws here” = “Grasping at straws” + I think “reaching for the stars”
    “He pulled some strings out of his hat” = “Pulled some strings” + “pulling a rabbit out of a hat”

    Love the imagery on the last one. Feel free to repost or quietly chuckle to yourself! Thanks!

  11. Robert J. Smith says:

    I don’t know if this qualifies as a malaphor because you have to read it. In speechit sounds OK – in fact that’s probably why it occurred. I was reading a paper a friend of mine had written about sea levels rising due to global warming and in discussing its effect on the country of Maldives, she had written, “… but with the nation itself standing just a hare’s breath above sea level …”. (By the way, I would assume that hares have pretty good breath, considering all the chlorophyll they must eat).

  12. Raffi Tashjian says:

    just heard one today “It’s all water in the bucket”. When I asked the speaker the meaning of the phrase he said it was “similar to the idea conveyed by the phrase “Every penny adds up””, however, it appears to be a malaphor of “It’s all water under the bridge” and “It’s a drop in the bucket”

  13. Barry Eigen says:

    Another variation for your “can of worms/kettle of fish” section? “This is a whole other can if worms.” The source is an article today in Daily Kos. https://m.dailykos.com/stories/2017/7/30/1685501/-WikiLeaks-Officially-in-the-bag-for-Trump?detail=emaildkre

  14. I have a friend who told me that his grandfather’s favorite saying was

    “You can catch more flies with honey than a stick”

  15. curioussteph says:

    Hi Dave,
    One of my clients said this one yesterday: “There’s two coins to every story.” A mash up of 2 sides to every story and 2 sides of the same coin. The sides got left out, coining a new story!


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