The straw that would tip me over to him

This one was spotted in a New York Times article, covering the Presidential race in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  Here is the context and quote:

Chris Rutherford, 51, of Minneapolis, is leaning back in Mr. Trump’s direction as a result of recent unrest. A Republican who said he was dismayed by Mr. Trump’s “constant lying,” Mr. Rutherford said he had been deeply troubled by the damage to his community inflicted first by the coronavirus pandemic and then by episodes of vandalism and rioting.

“Covid is wiping out these businesses and this was the nail in the coffin,” Mr. Rutherford said, stressing, “We cannot have these riots.”

Mr. Rutherford said that while he slightly favored Mr. Trump, he might still support Mr. Biden if he did more to warn of repercussions for people who “grotesquely violate the law.”

“He says, ‘I condemn,’ but he doesn’t ever say what he’s going to do,” Mr. Rutherford said, adding that if Mr. Biden went further it would be “the straw that would tip me over to him.”

This is a mashup of “the straw that broke the camel’s back”, “the last straw”, (both meaning the final problem in a series that causes one to finally lose one’s patience) and “tip the scales (or balance)” (something that upsets the balance such that one side gains advantage).  It’s almost a congruent conflation, as all the expressions refer to an incident or something that finally changes the situation.  As the contributor points out, “straws” seem to pop up in malaphors frequently.  Past examples include “it was the nail that broke the camel’s back”, https://malaphors.com/2016/04/06/it-was-the-nail-that-broke-the-camels-back/, “the last straw in the coffin”, https://malaphors.com/2012/11/22/the-last-straw-in-the-coffin/, “I’m at the end of my straw”,  https://malaphors.com/2013/04/12/im-at-the-end-of-the-straw/, and “that’s a bit of a straw horse”, https://malaphors.com/2019/04/29/thats-a-bit-of-a-straw-horse-isnt-it/.  Even one of my all time favorites, “let’s draw hats”, has the ubiquitous straw floating in the speaker’s mind.  A big thank you to Barry Eigen for noticing this one and sending it in.

Still thinking about buying the latest malaphor book, “Things Are Not Rosy-Dory: Malaphors From Politicians and Pundits”?  This latest malaphor might be the straw that tips you over.  Check it out on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08C7GGMG5?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860

 


There are people falling behind the crack

Jeannie Blaylock, a TV news anchor in Jacksonville, Fl, uttered this one when she was discussing the financial strain of COVID.   It is a congruent conflation of people “falling through the cracks” and “falling behind”, both meaning those who are not helped by the system which is supposed to deal with them.  “Falling” is the common word here, and is the cause of the mashup.  A tip of the crack to Lou Pugliese who heard this gem.


This flips the tables

This was spotted in a Washington Post Op-Ed piece by Greg Sargent, discussing Biden’s plan to produce more jobs in the United States.  Here’s the excerpt:

Biden, by contrast, will do what Trump didn’t: Use active, interventionist government to actually create jobs and rebuild U.S. manufacturing capacity. While there’s no question the left deserves credit in pushing Biden in this direction, his broader agenda has proved unexpectedly progressive.

“This flips the tables,” Jared Bernstein, a progressive economist and outside adviser to the Biden campaign, told me. “It doesn’t just block incentives to send jobs overseas; it creates new ones to create jobs here.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/09/09/trump-has-one-last-remaining-lifeline-biden-is-moving-sever-it/

This is a congruent conflation of “turns the tables” and “flips the script”, both meaning to reverse or change something dramatically.  If Sargent had really meant to flip tables, he might have been tempted to use one of many emojis expressing this – see  https://cutekaomoji.com/misc/table-flipping/

A flip of the hat to Mike Kovacs for spotting this perfectly formed congruent conflation.

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻


So to say

This subtle little malaphor was found in a Washington Post article:

“This is going to force Joe Biden to come out of the basement, so to say,” said Robert Graham, a former Arizona Republican Party chairman. “People don’t just want ‘content.’ They want to see him out there.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-to-resume-in-person-campaigning-as-race-with-trump-kicks-into-gear/2020/08/29/c2257ab4-e94a-11ea-970a-64c73a1c2392_story.html

It is a congruent conflation of “so to speak” and “you might say”, both meaning to be said a certain way, even though the words are not exactly accurate.  Kudos to Bruce Ryan for spotting this one.


tighten the gap

Chris Hayes said this one on his MSNBC show on 9/1. discussing the Presidential race.  “It is possible for Donald Trump to tighten the gap…”  This is a congruent conflation of “narrow the gap” and “tighten the race”, both meaning to make closer.  A tip of the toque to Frank King for hearing this subtle one.

We’re really rounding the turn

Another trumpafor.  Trump uttered this one at a recent news conference, discussing the coronavirus.  Here is the text:

“We’re really rounding the turn. The vaccines are coming. The therapeutics have already come but they’re continuing to come,” Trump said of the coronavirus.

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/515223-trump-maintains-us-rounding-the-turn-on-coronavirus

This is a congruent conflation of “rounding the corner”, “turning the corner”, and “rounding the bend”, all meaning to begin to find success after a troubling period.  A big thanks to Fred Martin and Sam Edelmann for both hearing this one.

Trump maintains US 'rounding the turn' on coronavirus | TheHill


Trump has his fingers in all those pots

This one was uttered by Joy Reid on her MSNBC show.  It is a conflation of “finger in every pie” (involvement in several different activities) and “chicken in every pot” ( a symbol of wealth and prosperity).   The latter phrase came from a newspaper advertisement by the Republican National Committee during Herbert Hoover’s 1928 presidential campaign. The ad pointed out that the preceding administrations of presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge had “put the proverbial ‘chicken in every pot.’ And a car in every backyard, to boot.” Although credited with the statement, Hoover never promised “a chicken in every pot.” In a similar vein, King Henry IV of France vowed on his coronation in 1589 that “if God grants me the usual length of life, I hope to make France so prosperous that every peasant will have a chicken in his pot on Sunday.” His assassination in 1610 at age fifty-seven stymied such a plan.

A big thanks to Frank King for hearing this one and sending it in!


Put a little elbow sweat into it

The speaker’s daughter was brushing the cat very lightly.  Wanting to get more fur off since the cat was shedding, the speaker uttered this nice malaphor.  It is a congruent conflation of “elbow grease” and “break a sweat”, both meaning to put forth a large effort or amount of energy to complete a task.  “Work up a sweat” might also be in the mix as it also means to exert a lot of energy to complete a task.  This one reminds me of one of my favorites: “Let’s roll up our elbows and get to work”. https://malaphors.com/2012/07/30/lets-roll-up-our-elbows-and-get-to-work/

A tip of the hat to John Kooser who realized he had uttered the malaphor, and then promptly sent it in.


You have to run the whole board

This mashup was uttered by Trump in a rally in Wisconsin a few weeks ago.  He was talking about the 2016 election, and the states he needed to win.  Here is the transcript (around 24 minutes into his speech):
It’s hard for Republicans. You have to run the whole board, because they started off that we’re going to play for New York. With all of the crime in New York, I got to play for New York, because we did well in New York. We did well in New York, but we’re going to play for New York.
https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/donald-trump-speech-transcript-wisconsin-august-17
This is a congruent conflation of “run the table” and “across-the-board” (winning every game or opportunity).  The former expression comes from the game of pool and the latter is found in horse race betting.  Apparently Trump has used the phrase “run the table” correctly in the past.  See https://www.wsj.com/articles/running-the-table-from-pool-to-politics-1457106718
A big shout out to Frank King for hearing this one on the David Pakman Show.