He cleared muster

“The Master” strikes again.  Chris Matthews uttered this beauty on the Rachel Maddow show on July 9, 2018, referring to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.  It is a congruent conflation of “passed muster” and “cleared for approval”, both meaning to be accepted as adequate.  Pass/clear is the mixup here.  Anyone who visits this site regularly knows Mr. Matthews is a malaphor goldmine.   A big thanks to “Eagle-Ear” Frank King, the Mental Health Comedian, for hearing this one and sending it in.


Will it pay fruit?

“The Master of Malaphors” Chris Matthews said this beauty on his show on June 13, talking about Cohen possibly flipping on Trump.  It is a congruent conflation of “pay off”, “pay dividends”, and “bear fruit”, all meaning to yield positive benefits or results. Let the flipping begin, and see the many bananas and apples appear.

By the way, loyal followers might cry foul on this one as I posted this malaphor last November.  https://malaphors.com/2017/11/22/our-hard-work-is-finally-starting-to-pay-fruit/  True, but when “The Master” speaks, I must post.  A big thanks to “Hawkear” Frank King for hearing this one.

The fish rots from the top

‘The (new) Master” has spoken yet again.  Chris Matthews uttered this mashup as he was discussing the Trump staffer who said about McCain, “he’s dying anyway”.  This is a mix of the idioms “a fish rots from the head down” (when an organization fails, the chief executive is the root cause) and “top of the ladder (or food chain)” (the position of most importance).  The “head” is certainly at the “top” of a person, which could have cause Mr. Matthew’s mental hiccup.  This is one of many from his lips, so please loyal followers, watch Mr. Matthews with baited ears.  A big thanks to Frank King for hearing this Matthewism and sending it in.

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

It’s dead as a cucumber

Chris Matthews from MSNBC was referring to the Graham-Cassidy Health Bill when he uttered this beauty.  He immediately realized his mistake and then said “dead as a door nail” but it was too late.  The malaphor is in the books.  It is a mashup of “dead as a door nail” (undoubtedly dead) and “cool as a cucumber” (extremely calm and in control of your emotions).  Certainly when you are dead you are pretty cool temperature-wise.  Perhaps this is what Mr. Matthews was thinking. I’m glad cucumbers are dead.  I still remember live tomatoes in the movie “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.”  A big thanks to “my ol’ pal” Beatrice Zablocki for hearing this one and passing it on quickly.

Liked this one?  Order my book “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors” for more.  Available on Amazon. Click on http://www.amazon.com/dp/0692652205

Push the trigger

This one was said by Chris Matthews (“Hardball”) regarding Trump vs. Kim Jong-un, and what would cause one of them to react.  It’s a nice mashup of I think “have a finger on the button” (the person who controls nuclear weapons) and “pull the trigger” (commit to a certain course of action), given the context.  “Push the right button” or “push somebody’s buttons” (doing exactly  the right thing to get the result you want) might also be in the mix, as well as “press the panic button” (to overreact to a negative situation), again given the context.  “Push” and “pull” are the culprits here.  A big thanks to “My Ol’ Pal” (MOP) Beatrice Zablocki for hearing this and sending it in.  Readers of my book and followers of this blog might also know MOP as she has given much guidance to me on malaphor interpretations over the years.  I also dedicated my book, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”, (available on Amazon!) to her.

She’s trying to walk this needle

The election is over, but the malaphors continue to flood in.  This one was heard on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews.   Discussing Kelly Ayotte’s (R-NH) response to the question of Donald Trump being a role model, James Pindell of the Boston Globe uttered this gem.  It is a congruent conflation of “walk a thin (fine) line” and “thread the needle”, both meaning to skillfully navigate through a tough dilemma.  “Toe the line” might also be in the mix, with the speaker thinking toes do the walking.   A big thanks to Sally Adler for hearing this one and sending it in!


He’s chasing windmills

This was said by Erin Gloria Ryan on the Chris Hayes show, All In.  She was referring to Trump.  This is a congruent conflation of “tilting at windmills” and “wild goose chase”, both meaning futile searches or pursuits.  “Chasing a ghost” might also be in the mix, and also “chasing rainbows”, the latter noted by “my ol’ pal”.  As everyone probably knows, “tilting at windmills” is a reference to the masterpiece “Don Quixote,” wherein the title character tilts at windmills, thinking in his madness that they are enemies.  He probably chased them as well.  A tip of the hat to Sam Edelmann, frequent malaphor contributor, for hearing this one and passing it on.