That ship has flown

The speaker was playing an online board game and made a comment about how it was too late for anyone else to win the game. She then uttered this nice malaphor. It is a mashup of “that ship has sailed” (some possiblity ot option is no longer available or likely) and “fly the coop” (to leave or escape (something)). This one is similar to the Austin Powers’ malaphor I posted a few years ago: “That train has sailed.” https://malaphors.com/2015/11/13/that-train-has-sailed/ Transportation mixups.

A tip of the hat to Andy Jacobs for hearing this one and passing it on! Thank you Andy!


They need to roll with the times

A conversation ensued about some people resisting a new initiative at Penn State. The speaker then blurted this one out. It is a mashup of “roll with the punches” (cope with adversity, especially by being flexible) and “get with the times” (to understand or be knowledgable of modern times). “Let the good times roll” may also have been in the speaker’s mind, as I know he is a fan of The Cars. Also perhaps he was thinking of “a roll of dimes”, something he may have done in childhood. Or maybe “Roll Tide!”? A big thanks to Martin Pietrucha who self-reported this malaphor.


It was earth-changing

ABC’s 20/20 aired an episode about a woman’s fraudulent fiance. He told her they were to be married by the Pope and their guests at the wedding mass could include their gay friends and that the gay friends could receive communion. The friend then uttered this great malaphor. Here is the video snippet:

This is a congruent conflation of “earth-shattering/shaking” and “life-changing” , both meaning something having a powerful effect. Maybe also thoughts about climate change going on in the speaker’s head? A tip of the hat to Mike Kovacs for hearing this one and sending it in.


They just decided that they wanted to give him (Trump) a walk

House impeachment manager Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-VI) was on CNN’s State of the Union, and was discussing the impeachment trial and the verdict. Talking about Mitch McConnell’s closing argument that supported the House Managers’ arguments, she said:

“They all agreed,” she added. “They just decided that they wanted to give him a walk and they found a technicality that they created to do so.” https://www.thedailybeast.com/delegate-stacey-plaskett-says-impeachment-trial-needed-more-senators-with-spines

This is a nice conflation of “to give (one) a pass” (accept someone’s improper actions or behavior without punishment) and “walk away from (someone or something)”, (to come through on the other side of an event without suffering any harm). “Let him walk” (acquitted on a criminal charge) was probably also in the mix. Of course, “walk the plank” (to suffer punishment at the hands of someone) might have been on her mind, considering the context. A big thanks to Bruce Ryan for hearing this one and sending it in!


We fought each other like tooth and tongue

Grace Panetta from Business Insider discussed 11 political friendships that crossed party lines. In the section on Orrin Hatch and Ted Kennedy, Hatch says:  “I have to say that we became very dear friends. That doesn’t mean we didn’t fight each other. We fought each other like tooth and tongue but afterwards, we’d put our arms around each other and laugh about it,” Hatch told NPR in 2009 after Kennedy’s death.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/11-political-friendships-proved-party-170214573.html?guccounter=1

Given the context, this appears to be a mashup of “tooth and nail, fight/with” (furiously or fiercely) and “hammer and tongs” (energetically or enthusiastically). Tongue sounds like tong (almost a homophone) and so the speaker was probably thinking “tongs”, but that still is a malaphor. The two expressions indicate doing something with great passion, hence the mixup. A tooth is near the tongue, so the substitution of tongue for nail. A big thanks to Lou Pugliese for spotting this one.

 


I would call them at their bluff

This one was heard on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, uttered by Joe himself. He was talking about the 10 GOP Senators who were in the Oval Office proposing a counteroffer to Biden’s 1.9 trillion COVID relief bill and was suggesting that President Biden “call them at their bluff”. This is a conflation of “call (one’s) bluff” (challenge someone to act on their threat or prove that their claim is true, when one believes they are making a false claim) and “take (one) at (one’s) word” (accept what one says without further verifying). A big thank you to Mike Kovacs for hearing this one and promptly sending it in!


Just by the nick of the hair

Heard this one today on The Price is Right. A contestant said this after spinning the big wheel with the arrow barely landing on the right amount. This is a congruent conflation of “just in the nick of time” and “by a hair”, both describing an extremely slim or short margin. A big thanks to Elaine Hatfield for hearing this one and yelling it to me upstairs.


The inmates are going to be running this ship

Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont) was talking about McConnell’s demand that the Democrats promise to keep the filibuster intact. Tester noted that the Democrats are now in the majority and should not accede to McConnell’s demand. Here is the quote:

“Chuck Schumer is the majority leader and he should be treated like majority leader. We can get sh** done around here and we ought to be focused on getting stuff done,” said Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.). “If we don’t, the inmates are going to be running this ship.”

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/01/21/democrats-mcconnell-filibuster-460967

This is a mashup of “the inmates are running the asylum” (the people least capable of running an organization are now in charge) and I believe “rats leaving/deserting a sinking ship” (the least loyal people will be the first to abandon a project). My guess is that Tester thought of Republicans and then associated them with rats, activating this nice malaphor.


The Capitol was ground central

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine was talking about the insurrection on Good Morning America. Here’s the quote:

“Clearly, the Capitol was ground central in the mob’s behavior. Donald Trump Jr, Rudy Giuliani, even the president were calling on supporters and hate groups to go to the Capitol, and in Rudy’s words, ‘exercise combat justice,'” said Racine. “We’re going to investigate not only the mob, but those who incited the violence.”

https://abc7chicago.com/trump-allies-helped-plan-promote-rally-that-led-to-capitol-attack/9477293/

This is a mashup of “ground zero” (the site of any disaster) and “grand central station” (a place that is very busy or chaotic). This conflation results in a phrase that describes a chaotic place of disaster, certainly an apt description of what happened in the U.S. Capitol. Also a nice coffee shop! A big thanks to Linda Bernstein who caught this one and sent it in!


Trump led us down the tubes

This beauty was seen on a Facebook comment, discussing Trump supporters storming the United States Capitol. It is a conflation of “going down the tubes” (to become much worse) and I think, given the context, “lead (someone) down the garden path” (to deceive or mislead someone). The mashup takes on a whole new meaning, and describes the situation perfectly. Interestingly, I posted a previous malaphor that Trump uttered and is a close one: “Clinton is selling them down the tubes”. See https://malaphors.com/2016/08/28/clinton-is-selling-them-down-the-tubes/

A big thank you to David Stephens for spotting this one and sending it in!