The speaker was discussing Biden’s recent bragging about working with segregationists and uttered this malaphor. It is a mashup of “to put (one’s) foot in “one’s” mouth” (unintentionally say something foolish) and “have a lead foot” (tend to speed when driving). “Go over like a lead balloon” (utter failure) might also be in the mix, as it seems to fit in context. This one reminds me of the famous malaphor uttered by Ann Richards at the 1988 Democratic Convention, when she referred to George H.W. Bush as someone who “was born with a silver foot in his mouth”. Check that one out in my website at https://malaphors.com/politics/. A big thanks to John Kooser for uttering this one and unabashedly submitting it!
This appears in the very first line of Eric Lutz’s piece in Vanity Fair on Paul Ryan’s interview with Politico’s Tim Alberta. It is a congruent conflation of “run interference” and “provide cover” (take an action to avoid problems, on behalf of another individual). “Run for cover” might also have been in the writer’s mind, located in the “freudian slip” area. A big thanks to Frank King who spotted this one!
This beauty comes from a Trump tweet. Concerning a possible military strike against Iran, Trump tweeted, “We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die.” This is a mashup of “locked and loaded” (a command to prepare for battle) and “to go off half-cocked” (to take a premature or ill-considered action). Many news sites picked up on the malaphor, including Reuters, calling it a malaprop. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-malaprop/trumps-half-cocked-and-loaded-tweet-draws-barrage-of-reaction-idUSKCN1TM2I0
We of course know it is not a malaprop (improper use of a word) but rather a malaphor (unintentional blend of two or more idioms). A few loyal followers, including Ron MacDonald and Frank King, spotted this one. Thanks Ron and Frank!
I unintentionally blurted this one out to someone who was thinking of getting rid of his cable service. It is a mash up of “pull the plug” (to force something to end) and “cut the cord” (discontinue cable service). Both expressions involve discontinuing something, hence the mix up. This one also comes free with a public service message: always pull the plug, not the cord! Now do you see how useful and helpful this website is?
This one conjures up a scary/humorous image. Former House Rep Joe Crowley (D-NY) (who was unseated by AOC) said this beaut on MSNBC today. He was asked if he had any advice for the Biden campaign and this was his answer. It is a congruent conflation of “press the flesh” and “shake hands and kiss babies”, both meaning to go out and meet as many people as possible. Mike Kovacs, Chief Operating Officer for Malaphor Central, heard this one and sent it in immediately. Mike noted that there are several cheap jokes embedded in this malaphor. Crowley lost to AOC, who as many will remember shook the flesh in a great dance video. Also, Mike queried whether Biden at his age could shake the flesh considering the loss of elasticity, but I believe that actually works to Joe’s advantage.
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.
This one was found on the website The Daily Kos. The writer was discussing how Nancy Pelosi controls the various House Subcommittees. This is a nice blend of “walking a tightrope” (to do something with extreme care and precision) and “on a tight leash” (under someone’s strict control). Both phrases have the word “tight” in them and “ropes” and “leashes” are similar items. Also, both phrases entail exactness and control. Here is the link to the malaphor: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/6/5/1862845/-NY-Offers-Chairman-Neal-Trump-s-Tax-Returns-Neal-Says-No-Thanks-Unbelievable
A tip of the hat to Barry Eigen who spotted this hidden creature in the word forest.