It’s nerve curdling

Rachel Maddow said this one on her show on April 30, referring to the Covid-19 outbreak in Nebraska.  It’s a mashup of “blood-curdling” (causing terror or horror) and “nerve-racking” (something stressful or anxiety-inducing).   I suppose nerves could curdle when alarmed or stressed out.   A big thanks to Frank King who heard this one and passed it on. @maddow
If you liked this Rachel malaphor, you will be happy to hear that I am about to publish my second malaphor book that has a whole section devoted to Maddow Malaphors.  The book is a compilation of malaphors from politicians and pundits.  It’s the top of the cake!  Be on the lookout on this website for the release date!

But what if the whole thing goes belly under?

The speaker, who is a flight attendant, was talking to her son about possibly taking a voluntary leave of absence in light of covid-19, but fearful about the financial status of her airline company that she works for.  This is a nice congruent conflation of “going under” and “going belly up”, both referring to a business that goes bankrupt or cleases to exist.  This is a directional (“under” vs. “up”) mixup, common in the malaphor world.  A big thanks to Jody Compton for uttering this one, recognizing it as a bona fide malaphor, and sending it in.