This beauty was uttered by someone who was asked if he thought the Cowboys’ football coach, Jason Garrett, would be fired soon. It is a mashup of “on thin ice” (close to being in trouble) and “on a tight leash” (strict control over someone). The words “thin” and “tight” are close in sound and meaning. A big thanks to John Kooser who heard this one and passed it on!
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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Political pundit Charlie Sykes uttered this one on MSNBC’s Hardball (hosted by the Malaphor King, Chris Matthews – see website for the many contributions). This is a mashup of “run point” (take the lead) and “give cover” (protect from attack). Perhaps Mr. Sykes was thinking (or hoping) about “running for cover”, but there is no indication any Republican is doing that at this point. A big thanks to Frank King for hearing this one and sharing it.
The submitter’s wife was talking about someone who was going to upstage him. This is a nice mashup of “steal your thunder” (garner the attention or prasie that one had been expecting for some accomplishment) and “take the wind out of your sails”(diminish one’s enthusiasm about something). Both phrases involve taking away something from someone. Also, sails and wind often are accompanied by thunder, right? A big thanks to Martin Pietrucha for hearing this one and passing it on.
This was uttered in response to finding a cake topping used in childhood. It’s a congruent conflation of ‘blast from the past” and “flashback”, both describing something that evokes a sense of nostalgia. “Blast” and “past” are similar sounding. A big thanks to Nick Mamalis for saying this one and Elaine Hatfield for sharing it.
The speaker was talking about taking a centrist approach. This is a nice mashup of “middle ground” (compromise) and “middle of the road” (moderate or centrist). Both idioms have the word “middle” and both describe the center of something, hence the mixup. A big thanks to Katie Norwood for uttering this one and sharing it!
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The Queen of Malaphors, Naomi David, is back! She uttered this beauty, which is a mashup of “kick this around” (mull over or consider something) and “down the line” (in the future), creating a definition of thinking about something for the future. She may also have been thinking “up the line” (through the chain of command). And of course she may have been thinking of “kicking the can down the road” (avoiding making a decision) although I believe the context was brainstorming. A big thanks to Katie Norwood who passed this one on.