The top kahuna, Donald Trump

Former Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman on MSNBC (Ari Melber’s show) uttered this gem, talking about Rudy Giuliani and the Ukrainians working for Trump.  It’s a mashup of “big kahuna” and “top dog”, both referring to a person in charge.  You can hear this one about 3 minutes into the video.  Link is:
This mixed idiom is similar to a similar malaphor posted a few years ago –  “head kahuna”, mixing once again “big kahuna” and this time “head honcho.
A big thank you to Frank King for hearing this one and passing it on.  He’s the top kahuna of malaphors! @nickakerman

He’s the head kahuna

Sandra Dee as Gidget in the 1959 film, (VHS cover)

Sandra Dee as Gidget in the 1959 film, (VHS cover) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Elaine Hatfield said this to me in the car the other day.  She immediately wrote it down so that we would remember it (sign of a good malaphor).  This is a mash up of “big kahuna” and “head honcho”, both meaning the person in charge.  The use of the term “big kahuna” in reference to surfing can be traced back to the 1959 film Gidget, in which “The Big Kahuna“, played by Cliff Robertson, (Martin Milner in the TV episode), was the leader of a group of surfers. The term then became commonplace in Beach Party films of the 1960s such as Beach Blanket Bingo, where the “Big Kahuna” was the best surfer on the beach