It will help you get your toe in the door

This mix-up was heard last week on the Today Show.  A person was giving advice on how women can network to get back into a career after being out of work for a long time.  She gave an example of web ideas and then uttered this great malaphor.  It is a mash up of “get your foot in the door” (start at a low level in an organization in order to get a better job in that organization) and “dip your toe in the water” (start carefully or test things first).   So perhaps a toe in the door is almost getting the job.  I note that Australians say “get a leg in the door” instead of “foot in the door”, indicating that they are expecting a little higher level entry position?  Certainly their minimum wage indicates so (Australia 15.96/hr vs. US 7.25/hr).  Thanks to Ron Marks for sending this one in!


They really kicked themselves in the foot

This is a mash up of “shot myself in the foot” (said or did something stupid that causes problems for the person)  and “kicked myself” (feel angry with yourself because you have done something stupid).  This was heard by Deb Rose on a local sports show in Oklahoma.  After the University of Oklahoma suffered a painful loss, making mistake after mistake and giving away the win, a local sportscaster said, “Boy, they really kicked themselves in the foot!”


They threw a bullet in their foot

This tortured malaphor was spoken by Tunch Ilkin on Steelers radio yesterday during the Steelers/Browns football game.   Tunch is a wonderful commentator and ex-Steeler, and is known for his colorful language describing Steelers games.   This time he seemed to have several thoughts buzzing through his head, as he wanted to say, that the Steelers had “shot themselves in the foot” (do something that causes problems for yourself), given that a seventh turnover had just been committed.  Perhaps the shooting idea conjured up bullets and the phrase “dodge a bullet” (evaded something) or “took a bullet” (sacrificed), both meaning the opposite of what he wanted to say.   The “threw” part of the phrase was the errant pass by the quarterback, resulting in an interception.

Sports media is a treasure trove of malaphors, many of which have been repeated on this website.   A big thank you to my wife for hearing this gem on her way home from Costco!


I screwed myself in the foot

Oh yes, I heard this one from “the master” one day after lunch.  It is a blend of “shot myself in the foot” and “I screwed up”, creating a delightful and colorful malaphor.  Again, “the master” improved the two idioms and made what I think a more descriptive one.