They have their backs up against the corner

MSNBC commentator Yamiche Alcindor uttered this one when talking about the White House after Pelosi’s impeachment announcement.  This is a near perfect congruent conflation of “backed into a corner” and “back to the wall”, both meaning to be in a high-pressure situation with no escape.  “Back up” (to obstruct) might also be in the mix, given the recent news.  A big thanks to David Stephens for hearing this one and passing it on!


His back is on the ropes

This malaphor was uttered by Brian Johnson, the San Francisco Giants’ color announcer, describing a Detroit Tigers pitcher.   It is a mash up of “on the ropes” (doing badly and likely to fail) and “back against the wall” (to have serious problems which limit the way you can act).  The speaker may have been thinking of the boxer with his back on the ropes, getting pummeled.  A shout out to Pete Mamalis for hearing this one and sending it in!
There are lots of malaphors from the sports world in my book, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”, available on Amazon for a mere $6.99!  Check it out at this link:

I was painted into a wall

This is a nice congruent conflation of “painted into a corner” and “back against the wall”, both describing being in a hard-pressed situation.  A wall mural painting might also have crept into the recesses of the speaker’s mind.  Who knows? Many thanks to Elly Pietrucha who mistakenly uttered this one and passed it on!