This beauty comes from a Fox News article about Wendy’s employees making a blind couple’s eating experience a good one. The article states that “it struck a heart string with many.” This is a congruent conflation of “strike a chord” and “tug at (one’s) heart strings”, both meaning to elicit a strong emotional response to something. “Tugging” and “striking” are action words touching something and are probably the source of the mix up. Certainly one can make “chords” with “strings”, and perhaps the author was thinking of “cords” instead of “chords” as cords are strings. This is a classic malaphor. A big thanks to Margaret Grover for spotting this one and sending it in.
I have heard my malaphor book, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”, available on Amazon, has struck many a heart string. You can get it now for a cheap $6.99 (normally $7.99). https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692652205
The submitter was out with some friends for dinner when this was suddenly uttered. An instant malaphor alert went off. This is a nice, alliterative congruent conflation (best kind of malaphor, imho) of “send shivers up (one’s) spine” and “makes (one’s) skin crawl”, both meaning to cause to feel frightened or unnerved. Spine and skin are mixed here, and the visual of shivers crawling. Certainly your skin shivers when you’re cold, so the mixup is quite expected. A big thank you to Steve Grieme for hearing this one and passing it on!
Overheard at a business meeting. This is a congruent conflation of “from soup to nuts” and “from start to finish”, both meaning to provide for the full range, with the beginning to the end in mind. Reminds me of an earlier one I posted, “let’s get down to the soup and nuts of it.” https://malaphors.com/2015/09/08/get-down-to-the-soup-and-nuts-of-it/
A big thanks to Dave Julian for hearing this one and Marianne Julian for passing it on!
A very perceptive follower noticed at the bottom of the screen on Fox News a chyron read: “…in Mueller investigation deck tilted against Trump.” This is a congruent conflation of “deck is stacked” and “the scales (balance) are tilted”, both meaning that one side has gained advantage. You can’t tilt a deck of cards (unless you’re Penn Jillette). A shout out to Eagle-Eared, and in this case, Eagle-Eyed, Frank King for spotting this one.
This mix up can be heard by Gordon Ramsay on his Masterclass trailer. It is a congruent conflation of “worked my arse off” and “busted my ass”, both meaning to work very hard at something. The former idiom is heard primarily in the UK, while the latter is heard mostly in the US. This malaphor, then, is perhaps an “across the pond” blend? Maybe Ramsay spent too much time in Hollywood. The posterior seems to be popular in malaphors. To see more, type “ass” in the search engine on the website. You’ll see such classics as “he was drunk out of his ass” and “you need to get your ass together”. https://malaphors.com/2015/08/27/you-need-to-get-your-ass-together/ https://malaphors.com/2018/06/28/he-was-drunk-out-of-his-ass/
A big thanks to Ben Glass who heard this one and sent it in. You can hear the malaphor by clicking this link: https://www.masterclass.com/classes/gordon-ramsay-teaches-cooking
This ditty was uttered on July 20 by Stephanie Ruhle on MSNBC’s “Velshi and Ruhle”. It is a nice congruent conflation of “at arm’s length” and “keep at a distance”, both meaning to keep someone from becoming too close. Perhaps a “distance” is farther than an “arm”? I imagine that fits in this context. A big thanks to Frank King, the Mental Health Comedian, for hearing this one and sending it in.
“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.