He’s way in over his skis

Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of Donald Trump, Jr. announced on Newsmax Tuesday that she “knows” Vice President Kamala Harris is secretly in charge of the White House.

“It’s really sad, he’s way in over his skis,” former Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle said of Biden during an appearance on Newsmax.

“Kamala Harris is really the de facto commander-in-chief,” she argued. “She made it very clear.”

“She’s calling the shots here, I know this, I’ve known her a long time,” Guilfoyle said.

Indeed, Guilfoyle first met Harris over twenty years ago. Back then, Guilfoyle was dating Gavin Newsom, the current Democratic governor of California. The two were married in 2001 and Guilfoyle became the first lady of San Francisco when he was sworn in as mayor in 2004. They went on to divorce in 2006.

But it is difficult to imagine how Guilfoyle now has insight into the inner workings of the Biden White House, which she sought to block from happening while being paid by the re-election campaign of her boyfriend’s father.

https://www.salon.com/2021/04/28/i-know-this-kimberly-guilfoyle-claims-that-kamala-harris-is-secretly-in-charge-of-the-white-house_partner/

This is a mashup of “out over (one’s) skis” (get ahead of yourself) and “in over (one’s) head” (in a situation too difficult to deal with). This is similar to a previous post about skis: “let’s not get ahead of our skis”. https://malaphors.com/2018/04/26/lets-not-get-ahead-of-our-skis/. “Out” and “in” here seemed to confuse Ms. Guilfoyle.

A shout out to Mike Kovacs, who seems to catch malaphors on a daily basis. Bravo Mike.

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The new President says he wants to turn over a new page

Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes said this one, referring to Biden’s plans. This is a nice congruent conflation of “turn over a new leaf” and “turn the page”, both meaning to make a fresh start or start anew. This one makes a lot of sense as the “leaf” in the expression “turn over a new leaf” refers to a page in a book. A big thanks to Frank King for hearing this one and sending it in.


Straight from the hip/Shoot from the shoulder

I am discussing these two malaphors together as they were uttered on the same topic and they are mashups of similar idioms.  The first, “straight from the hip”, was spoken on the Nicole Wallace show, Deadline: White House, during a discussion about Biden’s town hall and that he was speaking “straight from the hip”.  “Straight from the shoulder” (simple, direct, and forthright) is what the speaker meant to say, and this was mixed with  “shoot from the hip” (to speak rashly or recklessly).  The phrases are almost opposites, making this an excellent example of an incongruent conflation (unintentional blend of two or more idioms with opposite meanings).

The second malaphor, “shoot from the shoulder”, was uttered by Joe Biden at his town hall (and this is the phrase MSNBC had latched on in the malaphor above).  Herer is the quote:

“You’ve got to level with the American people — shoot from the shoulder. There’s not been a time they’ve not been able to step up. The president should step down,” the Democratic presidential nominee said to applause from a CNN drive-in town hall crowd Thursday night in Moosic, outside his hometown of Scranton.

https://apnews.com/ea71e7560724e2e5d46f224867ac4ebf

This is also a mashup of “straight from the shoulder” and “shoot from the hip”, another incongruent conflation.  Body parts and alliteration are all responsible for these mixups.  A big thank you to Bruce Ryan, Pamela Pankey, John Pekich, and Kathy Meinhardt for all spotting the malaphor.


The straw that would tip me over to him

This one was spotted in a New York Times article, covering the Presidential race in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  Here is the context and quote:

Chris Rutherford, 51, of Minneapolis, is leaning back in Mr. Trump’s direction as a result of recent unrest. A Republican who said he was dismayed by Mr. Trump’s “constant lying,” Mr. Rutherford said he had been deeply troubled by the damage to his community inflicted first by the coronavirus pandemic and then by episodes of vandalism and rioting.

“Covid is wiping out these businesses and this was the nail in the coffin,” Mr. Rutherford said, stressing, “We cannot have these riots.”

Mr. Rutherford said that while he slightly favored Mr. Trump, he might still support Mr. Biden if he did more to warn of repercussions for people who “grotesquely violate the law.”

“He says, ‘I condemn,’ but he doesn’t ever say what he’s going to do,” Mr. Rutherford said, adding that if Mr. Biden went further it would be “the straw that would tip me over to him.”

This is a mashup of “the straw that broke the camel’s back”, “the last straw”, (both meaning the final problem in a series that causes one to finally lose one’s patience) and “tip the scales (or balance)” (something that upsets the balance such that one side gains advantage).  It’s almost a congruent conflation, as all the expressions refer to an incident or something that finally changes the situation.  As the contributor points out, “straws” seem to pop up in malaphors frequently.  Past examples include “it was the nail that broke the camel’s back”, https://malaphors.com/2016/04/06/it-was-the-nail-that-broke-the-camels-back/, “the last straw in the coffin”, https://malaphors.com/2012/11/22/the-last-straw-in-the-coffin/, “I’m at the end of my straw”,  https://malaphors.com/2013/04/12/im-at-the-end-of-the-straw/, and “that’s a bit of a straw horse”, https://malaphors.com/2019/04/29/thats-a-bit-of-a-straw-horse-isnt-it/.  Even one of my all time favorites, “let’s draw hats”, has the ubiquitous straw floating in the speaker’s mind.  A big thank you to Barry Eigen for noticing this one and sending it in.

Still thinking about buying the latest malaphor book, “Things Are Not Rosy-Dory: Malaphors From Politicians and Pundits”?  This latest malaphor might be the straw that tips you over.  Check it out on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08C7GGMG5?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860

 


So to say

This subtle little malaphor was found in a Washington Post article:

“This is going to force Joe Biden to come out of the basement, so to say,” said Robert Graham, a former Arizona Republican Party chairman. “People don’t just want ‘content.’ They want to see him out there.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-to-resume-in-person-campaigning-as-race-with-trump-kicks-into-gear/2020/08/29/c2257ab4-e94a-11ea-970a-64c73a1c2392_story.html

It is a congruent conflation of “so to speak” and “you might say”, both meaning to be said a certain way, even though the words are not exactly accurate.  Kudos to Bruce Ryan for spotting this one.


Trump’s going to eat him apart

Two people were overheard talking about upcoming the 2020 presidential debates between Trump and Joe Biden. One person said of Trump: “Trump’s going to eat him apart….”  This is a nice congruent conflation of “eat him alive” and “tear him apart”, both meaning to overwhelm and defeat or dominate another.  “Eat his lunch” might also be in the mix, as it has the same meaning as the conflated idioms.  My guess is that Biden might be a little tough to chew.  A big thank you to Verbatim for sending this one in!


He’s tooting that horn all the way to the bank

This one comes from the Washington Post’s Daily 202  Connie Breeden, an attorney who is African American, said “This is going to be Biden’s last stand because he thinks that black people are going to support him just because of Barack Obama. He’s tooting that horn all the way to the bank. But people are savvier than that.”  This is a mashup of “tooting his own horn” (to boast or brag about one’s abilities) and “laughing all the way to the bank” (to profit from something that others regard as stupid or frivolous).  Here’s the link to the malaphor

https://s2.washingtonpost.com/camp-rw/?e=YmVpZ2VuQHZlcml6b24ubmV0&s=5e555749fe1ff658cabcb3bc&linknum=4&linktot=85

Perhaps the speaker was thinking of thieves dressed as clowns robbing a bank.  That is certainly in several movies, including Quick Change.  A big thank you to Barry Eigen for spotting this one and sending it in.