2020 has started off on the right foot, malaphor wise. On New Year’s Day, Christiane Amanpour said this beauty on CNN’s “New Day”. Let’s go to the transcript:
It is a congruent conflation of “put your finger on it” and hit the nail on the head” (and “nailed it”), all meaning to describe a situation or problem exactly. The speaker might have been thinking of fingernails when she uttered this one. A big thanks to Ruth Dilts for nailing this one. @camanpour @NewDay
This was heard on a conference call. This is a nice baseball metaphor mashup of “hit it out of the park” (to do something successful or an outstanding achievement) and “right off the bat” (immediately, without delay). Now if the person had hit it right off the bat and out of the park that would be an immediate outstanding achievement, right? Or just a home run? By the way, it seems like hitting it out of the park is a favorite idiom to mashup. A few past examples for your reading pleasure are “we really nailed it out of the park” https://malaphors.com/2015/08/18/we-really-nailed-it-out-of-the-park/ and “they blew it out of the park” https://malaphors.com/2012/10/27/they-blew-it-out-of-the-park/ A big thanks to Mike Kovacs for hearing this one and sending it in right off the park to malaphor central.
The “Great Malaphor Hunter”, Mike Kovacs, uttered this one at lunch the other day. He was talking about Facebook posts and how people don’t engage in actual discussions with others with opposing views. This is a nice mashup of “live in a bubble” (separated from society or sheltered) and “echo chamber” (a metaphorical description of a situation in which beliefs are amplified or reinforced by communication and repetition inside a closed system). When I heard this, I immediately thought of Get Smart and the “cone of silence”. A big thanks to Anthony Kovacs for outting his Dad, malaphorically speaking.
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Someone was referring to the Repbulicans’ defense in the Trump impeachment hearings. This is a nice word blend of “humbug” (deceptive or false talk) and “mumbo jumbo” (intended to cause confusion). Both expressions refer to misleading someone. Maybe it’s a new expression, meaning deceptive talk meant to confuse? A big thanks to John Kooser who overheard this one.
This was uttered by President Trump in a December 5, 2019 tweet. Here it is:
..trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business. We will have Schiff, the Bidens, Pelosi and many more testify, and will reveal, for the first time, how corrupt our system really is. I was elected to “Clean the Swamp,” and that’s what I am doing!
Trump’s mantra has always been “drain the swamp”, so I believe this is a malaphor, conflating “drain the swamp” with “clean house”, both meaning to wipe out corruption or inefficiency. A big thanks to Sandor Kovacs for spotting this one and sending it in.
Nicole Wallace on Morning Joe uttered this nice malaphor. It is a mashup of “bull in a china shop” (one who is aggressive and clumsy in a situation that requires care and delicacy) and “the elephant in the room” (an obvious truth or fact that is being intentionally ignored or left unaddressed). Not sure what would cause more damage in a china shop – a bull or an elephant? By the way, elephants are a common source of malaphors: just type the word “elephant” in the search engine on my website and you will find a treasure trove of elephant malaphors. a big thanks to Donna Calvert for hearing this one and passing it on.
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