Trump’s window… is sinking

This nice malaphor was spotted in the PowerPost section of the Washington Post:


“– 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:

It is a mashup of “a window of opportunity is closing” (a brief time period in which an opportunity exists) and “ship is sinking (or sinking ship)” (a failed or floundering organization or entity).  Sinking windows is never a good thing.  A big thank you to Barry Eigen for seeing this one and sending it in!


He (Obama) starts signing them (Executive Orders) like they’re butter

This beauty was uttered by Donald Trump in April 2016 when he was on the campaign trail.  He was talking about Executive Orders, and how he was not going to use that vehicle to get things done, unlike then President Obama:

“Executive orders sort of came about more recently. Nobody ever heard of an executive order, then all of a sudden Obama — because he couldn’t get anybody to agree with him — he starts signing them like they’re butter, so I want to do away with executive orders for the most part.”

Of course we all know now Trump used the Executive Order process at an unprecedented pace in his first 90 days.   This is a mashup of “to go/cut through something like a (hot) knife through butter” (to do or cut something very easily) and “selling like hotcakes” (to sell quickly and in large numbers).  While “sell” and “hotcakes” are not in the malaphor, I believe he was thinking of this idiom when he uttered the mix up, confusing “selling” for “signing”.  Kudos to Karl Robins for spotting this one as he saw it on Seth Meyers’ 4/26/17 monologue.

It popped eyebrows

Chris Cuomo on CNN made this comment regarding a controversial statement.  It is a nice mash up of “raised eyebrows”  (something causing concern or surprise) and “eye-popping” (something astonishing).   Perhaps Groucho Marx was on the speaker’s mind at the time.  A tip of the hat to Ron MacDonald for hearing this one and sending it along.

No one believes it to be true from any stretch of fact

This one was spoken by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.  “It’s a bad attempt at a joke; that’s all there is to it,” Mr. McCarthy told reporters at the Capitol.  He was referring to his earlier statement that Trump may have been receiving payments from Putin.  You can read the entire context here in the New York Times article:
This is a mashup of “by no stretch of the imagination” (no possible or conceivable way) and “in fact” (in reality).   Of course, stretching facts seems to be in vogue these days.  Here at Malaphors Central we just report the facts, uh, tongue slips.  A big thanks to Jim Rectenwald for spotting this one!

They’re walking on tenterhooks

This one is from Rush Limbaugh’s lips.  He was referring to the precarious position of the Republicans who can’t seem to get anything accomplished.  This is a mash up of the idioms “on tenterhooks” (in a state of painful suspense) and “walking on eggshells” (to try very hard not to upset someone or something).  Incidentally, the expression “on tenterhooks” refers to hooks that formerly were used to hold newly woven cloth that was being stretched on a frame. Their name has long survived this mid 1700s method of manufacture.  A big thanks to Jack Chandler for hearing this one and passing it along!

Did you know Rush Limbaugh is the source for more than a few malaphors?  Check them out in my book “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”, available on Amazon for a cheap $6.99!  That’s less than 7 dollars!

Spiraling downhill

Is there such a thing as a dyslexic malaphor?  “Spiraling downhill” might be one.  It was said on MSNBC’s Greta Van Susteren’s show, referring to Trump’s leaking of classified information to the Russians in the Oval Office.  I believe it is a mashup of “spiraling down” and “going downhill”, both meaning something going out of control and getting worse.  There is also “downward spiral”, also meaning a situation getting worse.  If I keep thinking about this one, I will be spiraling downhill so my analysis now ends.  A tip of the hat to Mike Kovacs for hearing this one!


Who is the person who can get this ship back on track?

This one was uttered by Mika Brzezinski on the MSNBC talk show, “Morning Joe”.  She was talking about the Trump Presidency.  It is a nice congruent conflation of “right the ship” and “get back on track”, both meaning to get something back on schedule or to return to normal.  A big thanks to Susan Kestner for hearing this one and sending it on!