We haven’t emptied all our cards

This was uttered by Michael Avenatti on the Lawrence O’Donnell MSNBC show when he was asked whether there will be any further disclosures regarding Michael Cohen.  It is a mashup of “show (one’s) cards” (to make one’s plans or intentions known) and “empty (something) out” (to remove or pour all of the contents from something).  Revealing and then emptying seems to be what he has done to date, so the malaphor makes sense.  This is not the first malaphor uttered by Michael Avenatti.  Check out some of his other great mashups, like “he folded like a cheap deck of cards”.  A big thanks to Beatrice Zablocki for hearing this one.  She’s a major contributor to this site. She’s the top of the notch!


The President needs to come straight with the American people

This malaphor was uttered by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) on the MSNBC show The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.  It is a congruent conflation of “come clean” and “be straight” (be honest and straightforward).  Kudos to that Malaphor Hunter Frank King, the Mental Health Comedian.

His job was running point for the White House

Rachel Maddow uttered this one the other night.  Referring to Ty Cobb, Trump’s lawyer who resigned, said, “His job was running point for the White House on the Trump Russia investigation.”  This is a mashup of the military expression “walk (or take) point” (to assume the first and most exposed position in a combat military formation) and “running interference” (to take actions to avoid or prevent certain problems).  As the submitter said, if you ran point, you’d out distance yourself from the other troops, which is a bad idea.  A big thanks to Frank King who heard this one and passed it on!

He’s a real blowhole

This descriptive malaphor was uttered by a friend describing Kanye West and his statement about 400 years of slavery.  It is a mashup of “blowhard” (a braggart; big talker) and “asshole” (jerk).  Blowhole has a nice rhyming ring to it, don’t you think?  I wonder who else fits this description…. Knowing the speaker, she may have been recalling her visit to Hawaii when she said this.   A big thanks to Leslie Geier for unintentionally blurting this one out and sharing it.

I smell red flags

This is a congruent conflation of “smell trouble” and “red flag(s)”, both meaning potential or imminent danger.  “I smell a rat” (suspect someone is guilty of deception or betrayal) might also be in the mix.  Of course, those red flags around gas leaks seem to conjure up this malaphor.  A big thanks to Tim Geier who overheard this one!

Dancing on eggs

The new malaphor “Master” Chris Matthews, just described a delicate verbal situation as “dancing on eggs.”  This is a beautiful mashup of “walking on eggshells” (to act with great care not to upset someone) and “(tap) dancing around” (evade a question).  Both phrases involve careful speaking hence the mixup.  Also walking and dancing are similar actions, contributing to the malaphor.  Malaphor hunters will witness a goldmine of malaphors by listening to this guy.  I am in awe.  A  big thanks to Beatrice Zablocki for hearing this one and passing it on

He gets a clean bill of goods

This was heard on MSNBC’s Hard Ball, and uttered by the new “Master of Malaphors”, Chris Matthews (I think I have posted at least four from this guy).  It is a nice mashup of “”sold a bill of goods” (deceive someone) and “clean bill of health” (a report confirming the absence of fault in a person or thing).  “Bill” is the commonality here.  Not sure if Chris is having a few martinis before each show, but if so, I hope he continues.  A big thanks to Super Malaphor Hunter Mike Kovacs for hearing this one! @hardballChris