I think she’s going to drive me into a wall

This was uttered by the submitter’s daughter, complaining about a co-worker.  It’s a nice congruent conflation of “drive (someone) insane” and “drive (someone) up a wall”, both meaning to irritate or annoy someone to the point of distraction.  The speaker may have been thinking “insane” but the “in” led to “into”.   Just a theory.  A big thanks to Steve Grieme for hearing this one!


She did not fall far from the turnip truck

This excellent mashup was overheard from a flight attendant.  It is a nice malaphor reflecting “just fell off the turnip truck” (ignorant or unsophisticated) and “the apple does not fall far from the tree” (someone is displaying traits or behaving in the same way as their relatives (usually parents)).  It actually might be a whole new phrase, describing someone displaying ignorance that is inherited.   Incidentally, the “turnip truck” idiom seems to be often garbled.  I have posted two other malaphors messing with this phrase:  “Does he think I just fell from the turnip tree?”  and “I wasn’t born off the turnip truck”  I guess when things start falling they can come from anywhere and land anywhere.  A big thanks to Jody Compton for hearing this one and passing it on.

Did you like this one?  There are many more just like this in my book, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”, available on Amazon.  It makes a nice stocking stuffer!

English: A Turnip

They really swept her under the bus

Two friends were talking about someone who was betrayed.  It is a nice mashup of “swept under the rug” (to deny or conceal from public view knowledge of something that is embarrassing or damaging to one’s reputation) and “thrown under the bus” (to exploit someone’s trust for someone’s own purpose).  “Under” is the common culprit here, in addition to the three letter words “bus” and “rug”.  This seems to be the latest in the bus malaphor series.  In addition to this one, I have posted such similar malaphors  as “she threw me under the wolves (, “Trump is not going to throw Paul Ryan over the bus” (, and “he really sold him under the bus” (, the latter a classic uttered Cristin Milioti.  Not sure what’s so hard about uttering “thrown under the bus” but the phrase seems to conjure up a lot of other idioms in the brain’s recesses….A big thank you to Verbatim for hearing this and passing it on.

How I Met Your Mother Reveals 'Mother' – 5 Things to Know About the Actress| Once, How I Met Your Mother, TV News, Josh Radnor, Neil Patrick Harris

Our hard work is finally starting to pay fruit

This subtle gem was overheard at a meeting.  It is a congruent conflation of “pay off” and “bear fruit”, both meaning to yield positive benefits or results.   Those cherries sure start to add up after working hard.  A big thanks to Joel Ringer who heard this one and passed it on.

She threw me under the wolves

This was uttered at a disability hearing recently.  It is a nice mashup of “throw (someone) under the bus” (to exploit someone’s trust for one’s own purpose or benefit) and “throw (one) to the wolves” (to sacrifice someone to ruin, especially for another’s benefit).  Both expressions contain the verb “throw” and both are similar in meaning.   A big thanks to Sam Edelmann for hearing this one and sending it in.

You won’t be thrown under the wolves but be incessantly thanked if you include my book “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors” in your loved ones’ stockings this Christmas!  Just check it out on Amazon at  Forget about the toothbrush and give them a laugh or two instead!

We laid it all on the field

This one was found on the “Fixer Upper” blog called Magnolia market, courtesy of Chip and Joanna Gaines.  Here’s the site with the malaphor:

This is a nice combo of “laid it on the line” (made something very clear) and “left it all on the field” (to commit wholly to something).  Left and laid all the culprits here, I suspect.  Also there are lines on most sports fields so that might have contributed to this mental hiccup.  A big thanks to Jean Welch for spotting this one!


Anybody worth their weight in salt

This beauty was uttered on NPR’s All Things Considered yesterday.  The discussion centered around sexual harassment, and what Human Resources divisions should do about it.  The speaker said, “Anybody worth their weight in salt would take allegations of sexual harassment seriously”.  This is a mashup of “worth one’s weight in gold” (very valuable, useful, or important) and “worth one’s salt” (deserving respect, especially because you do your job well).  This malaphor is a great one as the two expressions are very similar in sound and in meaning.  The word “weight” is the only distinguishing factor.  Regarding the salt idiom, it is believed that it refers to the fact that in Roman times soldiers were given an allowance of salt as part of their pay. The Latin word salarium (= the money given to Roman soldiers to buy salt) is the origin of the word ‘salary’.   A big thanks to loyal malaphor follower Paul Nance for hearing this one and sharing it.