This is a nice mash up of “tickled my fancy” and “it tickled my funny bone” (to make someone laugh). To laugh and be curious at the same time? Perhaps, but in this case just another great malaphor. Tickle is the culprit here, as well as the similar sounding words “fancy” and “funny”. A big thanks to “Curious Steph” who wrote this accidentally. By the way, she is starting a new blog – curioussteph.com, Check it out.
I just heard this nice word blend malaphor today. A couple of guys in the sauna were talking about the Penguins/Predators final game for the Stanley Cup and one blurted this out. It is a mash up of “nail-biter” (a situation whose outcome is marked with nervous apprehension) and “heart-breaker” (a situation that causes great sadness). Since the subject was hockey, perhaps “icebreaker” (to initiate a conversation or get it started) was also on the speaker’s mind.
Double malaphor!! This is as rare as a double rainbow sighting. Both of these malaphors were heard on one episode of the NBC show First Dates. “At the drop of a beat” is a congruent conflation of “at the drop of a hat” and “in a heartbeat”, meaning to do something immediately. Hat and heart might be the culprits here, and perhaps the speaker thinking of the slang phrase “dropping a beat”, meaning to play a beat. See http://onlineslangdictionary.com/meaning-definition-of/drop-a-beat.
“Hold the brakes” is another congruent conflation of “hit the brakes” and “hold your horses”, both meaning to stop something. Hold and hit are probably the culprits in this mashup. Outstanding work goes to Steve Grieme for hearing both of these, sending them in, and offering the above deconstruction of each phrase. Steve is now given the official title of “Malaphor Man”.
This is a nice congruent conflation of “shrinking violet” and “wallflower”, both describing someone who is shy. The confusion is obvious: violets are flowers. The speaker (who was me by the way) may have also been mixing shrinking with stinking. The local conservatory, the Phipps, has a corpse flower, which emits a smell akin to rotting flesh when it blooms, and the day I uttered this malaphor the flower had bloomed and there was a great deal of news about it.
This nice malaphor was spotted in the PowerPost section of the Washington Post:
“THE HONEYMOON IS OVER:
“– Trump’s window to score early legislative victories is sinking as Congress’s summer recess nears — giving the president just two months to revive his health-care and tax efforts before lawmakers depart Capitol Hill for a long break.”
It is a mashup of “a window of opportunity is closing” (a brief time period in which an opportunity exists) and “ship is sinking (or sinking ship)” (a failed or floundering organization or entity). Sinking windows is never a good thing. A big thank you to Barry Eigen for seeing this one and sending it in!