I don’t want to toot my own hat

English: Photo of Mayor Jean Quan from her 201...

English: Photo of Mayor Jean Quan from her 2010 Campaign (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This malaphor was spoken by Jean Quan, the mayor of Oakland, and appeared in the October 2012 issue of San Francisco Magazine.  She meant to say “toot my own horn” (brag), and I think mixed that up with “take my hat off” (pay respect to someone or brag on them), but it could be just a mix up of the visual at a birthday party with party hats and horns.  “Feather in one’s cap” also comes to mind, as well as “tip my hand”.   Any other suggestions out there would be welcome.  A tip of the toque to Mike Kovacs for spotting this one.

He did it at the drop of a dime

Pretty straightforward malaphor?  Seems like a combination of “do at the drop of a hat” and “he dropped the dime”.   Very different meanings, but the word “drop” apparently led the speaker to think “dime” instead of “hat” (alliteration perhaps?) and thus another  malaphor was born.

Throw in the hat

This malaphor mixes two idioms with opposite meanings – “throw in the towel” and “hat in the ring”.   When I heard it, the speaker intended to say”throw in the towel”.   Maybe he didn’t really want to give up?   Or maybe it was that second martini talking….