The speaker was talking about a couple and their finances. It is a nice congruent conflation of “breadwinner” and “wage earner”, both referring to the person whose earnings are the primary support for his/her dependents. Of course, “bread” is slang for money, so bread earner makes a lot of sense (cents?) to me. A big thanks to Elaine Hatfield for sharing this one.
This was posted on a neighborhood site in Baltimore looking for recommendations. It is a congruent conflation of “fleece” and “pull the wool over my eyes”, both meaning to cheat or deceive. Lots going on here in the recesses of the brain. Fleece as a noun is a lightweight jacket, so the idea of pulling it over one’s head makes sense. A fleece is also the woollen coat of a domestic sheep, so the speaker might have been thinking of wool and fleece at the same time. Using the word as a noun but thinking of it as a verb makes this a very interesting malaphor. Also, eyes are part of the head so the mixing of these body parts were clearly in the speaker’s brain. A big thanks to Larry Mason for spotting this one and sharing it.
There was a discussion about due process errors in a law office, and this was uttered by someone who didn’t think they were worth fighting for. It is a congruent conflation of the military expressions “not the hill to die on” and “fall on (one’s) sword”, both meaning something so important it must be dealt with. While the word “sword” does not appear in the malaphor, my guess is that the speaker was thinking of a sword when he said “cross”, as the sword looks like a cross. Also there might be some Christian symbolism of dying on a cross wrapped up in this one. A big thanks to Yvonne Stam for hearing this one and passing it on.
This subtle mashup was uttered by Jim VandeHei, CEO of Axios, on the Morning Joe show. It is a conflation of “as far as the eye can see” (extending to the farthest possible point) and “as long as” (considering the fact as). A big thanks to Frank King, frequent malaphor contributor, for hearing this one.
Who hasn’t said this malaphor before? I know I am guilty. It is a conflation of “sweating like a pig” (to sweat profusely) and “bleeding (or squealing) like a stuck pig” (to make a loud shrill sound). I suppose a stuck pig sweats a lot, so perhaps this one should be accepted, but bleeding or squealing seems to be associated with a stuck pig, unless you’re the poor guy in Deliverance. The submitter of this nice malaphor thought perhaps the proper simile was “sweat like a hog”, but I think he just had Vinnie Barbarino and the rest of the gang from Kotter’s remedial class on his mind. “The Sweathogs” was the delightful name appropriated to that lovable gang at James Buchanan High School. A big thanks to Steve Messinger who unintentionally uttered this very popular malaphor.
This one was heard on the TLC t.v. show, “My 600 lb. Life”. In context, it is a congruent conflation of “clear the air” and “get it off my chest”, both meaning to discuss or otherwise confront a troubling situation. Certainly weighing 600 pounds could be a troubling situation. Of course, taken literally, one may want to try a steam shower or an inhaler for really nasty chest congestion. A big thank you to regular malaphor contributor Mike Kovacs!
This was uttered by the play by play commentator for the women’s cross country skiing race at this year’s Winter Olympics. It is a nice mash up of “trick up her sleeve” (secret advantage) and “pull a rabbit out of her hat” (to do something surprising or seemingly impossible). Both idioms concern the element of surprise, and both involve tricks or magic. A big thanks to Jake Holdcroft for hearing this one and passing it on!