That ought to hit the ticket

This was said, referring to something that should be successful.  It is a congruent conflation of “hit the mark” and “punch (one’s) ticket”, both meaning an action that leads to success (the latter to a promotion usually).  Hit the ticket has a nice ring to it.  A big thanks to Martin Pietrucha for texting this one and realizing it was a malaphor.

I think Sheila hit the head

Nela Richardson, Ph.D, chief economist for Redfin, speaking on the podcast Marketplace, was referring to a point made by her colleague on the correlation on the lack of wage growth and persistent complaints by some employers that they’re unable to fill open positions.  This is a nice congruent conflation of “hit the mark” and “hit the nail on the head”, both meaning to be accurate or correct.  As the submitter points out, “hit the head” is a also a naval expression for going to the bathroom.  Having grown up on Naval bases, I used and still use that expression often.  Not sure Dr. Robinson had the same experience, but if so, it could be the reason for her mashup.  A tip of the hat to Mike Kovacs for hearing this one!

It hit the mark on the button

This double metaphor, and I suppose a congruent conflation, was found in the Augusta Chronicle’s Rants & Raves section.  An anonymous reader wrote: “Big raves to Rick McKee’s cartoon on Friday. It hit the mark on the button.”  This is a congruent conflation of “on the button” and “hit the mark”, both meaning to be exact or correct.  While one might quibble that this is not exactly a malaphor as the metaphors aren’t mixed, the use of two idioms to express a thought is still there.  I say it is a malaphor, and as you all know by now, I am the Malaphor King.  A big thanks to Baoverlie for seeing this one and sending it in!

If you loved this mash up, get the book on malaphors: “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”.  Available NOW on Amazon at  You’ll be glad you did!