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Baseball trades are like flipping the dice

This is a perfect malaphor, compliments from the sports world.  Jack Zduriencik uttered this one on the Pittsburgh Pirates pre-game show on 93.7 The Fan.  It is a congruent conflation of “flipping a coin” and “rolling the dice”, both meaning to rely on chance or purely at random.  Coins and dice are both used in games of chance, such as craps.  Of course if you flip the dice in a craps game, chances are you’ll be ejected.  A big thanks to John Kooser for hearing this gem.

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They would jump on a bullet for him

This was uttered when discussing the blind loyalty of Trump supporters.  It is a congruent conflation of “take a bullet for (someone)” and “falling (or jumping) on a grenade for (someone)”, both meaning to accept a personally harmful or sacrificial task to protect someone else.  Jumping on a bullet doesn’t seem like a great sacrifice to me, so perhaps this speaker was not such a loyal follower.  A big thanks to John Kooser for hearing this one.


My hackles were ruffled

This was overheard at a nearby table at breakfast.  This is a brilliant congruent conflation of “ruffle (ones’) feathers” and “raise (one’s) hackles”, both meaning to make one irritated or angry.  “Ruffle” and “raise” both begin with the letter r, possibly contributing to the mix.  By the way, do you know what “hackles” are?  Hackles are the hairs on the back of an animal’s neck, which stick up when the animal feels fearful or angry (late 1800s).  So, the two expressions involve some type of body covering sticking up, a perfect explanation of the mashup.  A bravo to Sam Edelmann who heard this one all the way from India.

It struck a heart string with many

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

 


It sent shivers up my skin

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!


We did everything from soup to finish

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!


The deck is tilted against Trump

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.