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.

537 Comments on “Contact”

  1. Teri Snedegar says:

    My husband and I were out to dinner with friends and he mixed “That really burns me up” with “gets your goat”. It came out as, “That really burns my goat!” I couldn’t stop laughing as I pictured a goat bursting into flames.

  2. Barry Eigen says:

    A new one for your “quench” page: “This should quench your curiosity,” a mashup of “quench your thirst” and “satisfy your curiosity.” The source is a website called Quora, and a posting about Paul McCartney’s brother. The exact quote is: “I’m sure I have others but this should quench your curiosity.” (The reference to “others” is to pictures of Paul and his brother.)

  3. Barry Eigen says:

    My wife and I are binge watching The Sopranos in anticipation of the new prequel movie that will be coming out in a couple of weeks. In season 2, episode 3, Tony Soprano’s teenage daughter, Meadow, has a party that gets out of control and requires police intervention. Tony gets her out of trouble with the police and says to her as they’re driving home: “Just lucky I knew that cop, so he cut me a favor.” It’s a mashup of “cut me a break” and “did me a favor.” I don’t know why (and apropos of nothing) but the syntax of this malaphor reminds me of when I was kid growing up in NYC. I’d call up to my mother (on the 4th floor of an apartment building) “Throw me out the window a ball.”

    • davemalaphor says:

      Excellent one. Did you know I included several Sopranos’ malaphors in my first book, He Smokes Like a Fish (and other malaphors)”? Colorful language and characters is a breeding ground for malaphors.

      • Barry Eigen says:

        I have the book (as any right-thinking person should), but I didn’t remember that. I’ll check it out.

  4. JAC says:

    An old Headmaster at my English secondary school (all boys), referring in an assembly to poor behaviour (I recall that it might have had something to do with hair length) uttered the immortal line “… and if this rule is not abided by, then the cookies will come home to roost, that I promise!”

    Cue bemused, muffled laughter.

  5. Barry Eigen says:

    Merry New Year! I have a new malaphor sighting and a more recent sighting of one you already have. 1. Yesterday, I received a political email asking for money (as don’t we all?) from Lucas Kunce, who’s running for the U.S. Senate in Missouri. The email opens: “Hey Barry — I know you probably got a lot of emails today from my team and others ahead of tonight’s big FEC deadline. [No kidding.] So I’ll keep this quick. . . .” I believe that this is a mashup of “I’ll keep this short” and “I’ll make this quick.” Looking on the Internet, I found one other use of this malaphor, from 4 years ago:
    2. You already have this one, but maybe you’d like it for your files anyway. I started watching a new series called “Hawkeye” on Disney+, and in the very first episode a character says: “I guess the beans are out of the bag.”


  6. verbatim says:

    In a conference call with my boss who says, “I’d just like to throw something out of the box.”

    It sound like a combination of “throw out an idea” and “think outside the box”

  7. davemalaphor says:

    Good one! Will post soon. Thanks again. Dave

  8. Torre Thompson says:

    On CNN’s YouTube Channel in a segment entitled ‘Doctor Responds to Journalist’s Covid Restriction Comments’ the former FDA commissioner, Dr. Jonathan Reiner, states (at 5:20) that ending restrictions “…is easier to do when we’re all singing from the same page here.” I believe this is a mixing ‘singing the same tune’ and ‘on the same page’, different expressions with the same meaning and pretty mild as far as malaphors go.

  9. verbatim says:

    Two of my friends talking. One correctly guesses the answer to some question they are contemplating. The other one says, “you hit the nail on the button.”

    This is combination of “hit the nail on the head” and “on the button”, both meaning “precise”.

  10. Recently a client in counseling was trying to describe to me his feelings of stress: “It’s like an 800 lb gorilla on my chest”.

  11. Peter H says:

    On tonight’s AppleTV MLB broadcast of the Padres / Braves game, the commentator described one of the players as “biting at the chomp”.

  12. verbatim says:

    “Didn’t make the mustard”

    Podcaster talking about contest submissions for a contest he was sponsoring that weren’t quite good enough. This is combination of “cut the mustard” and “make the cut”.

    PS: “cut the mustard” is a mondegreen of “cut the muster”, but that’s a different discussion.

    • davemalaphor says:

      Excellent! Will post toot suite. And may I ask who Verbatim is? Someone I know?

      • verbatim says:

        North-easterner; crossword puzzle editor; web developer; chocolate lover; news junkie. If you know someone like that, then maybe we know each other.

  13. verbatim says:

    “Give her some slack”

    Same podcaster as previous submission: talking about going easy on his producer who made a few mistakes. This is combination of “give her a break” and “cut her some slack”.

  14. Barry Eigen says:

    I’ve got a twofer today, one similar to one you’ve already got. I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve started watching “The Boys” on Amazon, but happy to say that there were two malaphors in Season 1, Episode 3. No idea whether they’re intentional. First and best, there’s a scene with PR guys pitching an idea with a litany of “Does she do this or that?” items, one of which is “Does she cry in her milk?” This is a mashup of cry in your beer (or soup) and cry over spilt milk. Later, in another scene, one of the main characters says “We’ll cross that bridge when we burn it,” an obvious mashup and not quite the same as “We’ll burn that bridge when we come to it” already on your site. This one sounds like a joke to me; the first one might be unintentional. Who knows?

    • davemalaphor says:

      I agree with you that the second one sounds intentional so I don’t think I will post (also it is just a slight variation of the one already posted). I also agree that the first one might be unintentional, although since it is scripted probably not. Regardless, I will post as it is an excelent mashup. Thank you!

  15. Fred Martin says:

    At 6/14/22 at 7;57 AM heard on the local weather on Baltimore’s WMAR Channel 2: ” A rumble of lightning.” Would this be a mashup of rumble of thunder and a crack of lightning?

  16. davemalaphor says:

    Good one! Will post soon. Regards, Dave

  17. arensb says:

    I’m not sure whether this qualifies:

    At the end: ““We are embarking on dangerous, uncharted territory,” [American Atheists president Nick] Fish added.”

  18. Barry Eigen says:

    For your “rug” collection. In today’s New York Times, a woman being asked her opinion about whether we’re paying enough attention to the issue of race, said “I don’t think we’re paying too much attention. I think it’s always been pushed under the rug,” a mashup of “pushed aside” and “swept under the rug (or carpet).” It turns out that one of the candidates for senator in Georgia has also said it: (The rest of the quote is pretty amusing too in my opinion.) And a “real housewife of New Jersey”: Maybe it will become a thing.

  19. Barry Eigen says:

    From today’s Washington Post: “nothing is off the limits,” a mashup of “nothing is off the table” and “nothing is off limits.” Here’s the whole quote: “When you speak out against Trump, a whole army of MAGA comes after you,” said Alyssa Farah, a former White House official and friend of Hutchinson who resigned after the November 2020 election and has been critical of Trump since. “They try to indict your character, professionalism — nothing is off the limits.”

  20. verbatim says:

    Podcaster alleging that a possible 2024 candidate has already ruined his chances of getting into the race by making certain statements:

    “Nailed himself to his own petard.”

    Seems to be a combination of:
    Nailed to a cross – severely punished
    Hoisted on his own petard – defeated by one’s own actions

  21. Aaron Rawson l says:

    So my wife had some minor surgery. I was on the phone with the hospital pharmacist to get the good stuff. She asked me if I had any questions, what I meant to say was: “This is a row I’ve hoe’d before.” Or even: “This is a row I’ve plowed before.”

    What I said was:
    “This is a hoe I’ve plowed before.”

    And then my wife and I laughed and laughed, while the person, that wanted to give us narcotics, was sitting on the other line, very quietly.

    She still came, which was nice of her.

  22. verbatim says:

    My boss is malaphor/gaff machine. Maybe you can put him on your payroll.

    He needs to buy new piece of industrial equipment for the business.

    He’s talking to the company he is interested in buying from. He wants to go to the company and get in in depth tour of the equipment (it’s pretty expensive).

    So he says to the rep: “I’d like to come look under the tires….”

    I almost burst out laughing. Not only did he create an amusing malaphor, but both idioms deal with cars:

    “look under the hood”

    “kick the tires”

    Both deal with doing a more in depth analysis.

  23. davemalaphor says:

    This is a beauty. Will post soon.

  24. bradbankston says:

    “Why buy the cow when you can get the sex for free?”


  25. Kathryn McCary says:

    The last three words of this Facebook meme appear to me to be a mashup of “peace of mind” and piece and quiet–although that may not actually qualify as a malaphor, come to think.

  26. Fandango says:

    I heard this on a Househunters episode on HGTV. The husband said to his wife, “Don’t put all your ducks in a basket.”

    Seems he was conflating, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” with “You need to get all your ducks in a row.”

  27. Kathryn McCary says:

    The use of “under” with “spotlight” sounded wrong to me–and I realized that what I expected following “under” was “microscope”; which would fit in many ways:

  28. verbatim says:

    Podcast talking about Elon Musk exposing the corruption of the previous Twitter owners.

    Podcaster theorizes that Elon has just, “scratched the tip of the iceberg.”

    Seems to be a combination of “scratched the surface of…” and “just the tip of the iceberg”.

  29. davemalaphor says:

    That’s a great one but I posted it several years ago (must be a popular one).

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