This one was uttered by a work colleague talking about an Andy Kaufman bit that had an audience in “floods of laughter”. It is a mash up of “flood of tears” (crying a lot) and “gales of laughter” (laughing a lot). Not sure if the speaker is from the UK but if so “shakes with laughter” (uncontrollable laughter) might also be in the mix. Certainly gales (strong winds) can be associated with flooding caused by a hurricane. I would much prefer a flood of laughter, however. A big thanks to Matt Whittaker for hearing this one and sending it in.
This one was overheard at a business meeting. It is a nice conflation of “get your ducks in a row” (get well-organized) and “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” (don’t risk everything on one venture). Idioms containing the words eggs, ducks, or baskets seem to get commonly jumbled. Type any one of these words in the search and you will find many postings on the subjects. A big thanks to John Hatfield III for hearing this one and sending it in.
During an interview on MSNBC on Sunday, 9/9/18, Omarosa Manigault Newman uttered this mix up. It is a mash up of “take me to task (scold or reprimand) and I believe, given the context, “bat for the other team” (to support, secretly or openly, the opposing side of a given contest or debate). “Bat around” (hit something around) might also be in the mix, again given the context. A big thanks to Bob Smith for hearing this one and sending it in.
Following up on yesterday’s malaphor, this one also was heard on the Pittsburgh sports radio call in show, 93.7 The Fan. This one was uttered by sports commentator and analyst Josh Taylor, who was saying that at the beginning of the season he thought the Pirates starting pitchers were not going to be good enough. He admitted he was wrong, and then said this nice congruent conflation of “eat crow”, and “eat my words”, both meaning to confess being wrong about a prediction. “Eat” is in both idioms which produced no doubt the mashup. “I’ll eat my hat” must also be in the mix (thanks “my ol’ pal”!), as Josh made a prediction that he had to admit later was wrong. Eating one’s hat is the result. Then again, eating one’s own crow might really be admitting error. A big thanks once again to John Kooser for hearing this one and passing it on!
If you want to predict something right, buy the book on malaphors, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”, available on Amazon. You’ll be eating high off the hog, with no crow.
On a Pittsburgh sports radio call-in show called The Fan, Ron Cook (an excellent Pittsburgh Post Gazette Sports writer and sports show commentator) hung up on a caller who did not answer in time. He then said the caller was “sleeping on the switch”. This is a congruent conflation of “asleep at the switch” and “sleeping on the job”, both meaning to be inattentive. “Asleep at the wheel” might also be in play, but I doubt it as the mix up is with the prepositions “at” and “on”. A big thanks to John Kooser who was certainly not sleeping on the switch when he heard this one.
This multi-faceted malaphor was uttered by Sam Stein, Politics Editor of The Daily Beast. He was discussing Trump’s inadvertent confessions. This is a three way malaphor, mashing up “the cat’s out of the bag” (the secret has been made known), “closing the barn door after the horse has bolted” (trying to prevent a problem after the damage has been done), and “can’t put the genie back in the bottle” (can’t go back to the state you were in before an important change happened). Cats and carts sound alike, contributing to the confusion. All three idioms describe a situation where something has changed and it cannot be reversed. So, all three are appropriate in context, but perhaps not jumbled together. A big thanks to Ron MacDonald for hearing this gem.