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The doors are closing in

Gregory Meeks (D-NY) said this one on “Ths Last Word” – “…the Republicans have no way out, the doors are closing in…”  It is a congruent conflation of “the walls are closing in” and “the doors are closing”, both meaning running out of time and the end is nearing.  Doors and walls can be confusing.  A big thanks to Frank King for hearing this one and sending it in.
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Quid pro quo is one of these things to muddy the works

This gem was uttered by Congressman Jim Himes (D-CT) yesterday on Meet the Press, talking about the Trump impeachment inquiry.  It is a mashup of “muddy the waters” (to make a situation less clear) and “gum up the works” (to interfere with the proper functioning of something).   Both expressions refer to degrading something, and “works” and “waters” might have been jumbled by the phrase “water works”?   A big shout out to Bruce Ryan who heard this one and passed it on.  @jahimes @MeetThePress

You can hear this malaphor just about at the beginning of the video:

 

 


The top kahuna, Donald Trump

Former Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman on MSNBC (Ari Melber’s show) uttered this gem, talking about Rudy Giuliani and the Ukrainians working for Trump.  It’s a mashup of “big kahuna” and “top dog”, both referring to a person in charge.  You can hear this one about 3 minutes into the video.  Link is:
https://www.msnbc.com/the-beat-with-ari/watch/-a-major-conspiracy-indicted-giuliani-aides-could-sing-to-feds-71931973526
This mixed idiom is similar to a similar malaphor posted a few years ago –  “head kahuna”, mixing once again “big kahuna” and this time “head honcho.  https://malaphors.com/2013/09/11/hes-the-head-kahuna/
A big thank you to Frank King for hearing this one and passing it on.  He’s the top kahuna of malaphors! @nickakerman

You dance with the devil you came with

Ike Reese (former football player for the Philadelphia Eagles) on the Marks and Reese sports talk radio show (WIP, 94.1), was discussing QB Carson Wentz’s risky play of diving and sliding to make a first down.  This is a nice mashup of “dance with the devil (or death)” (do something dangerous, risky or on the wild side) and “dance with the one that brung ya” (be loyal or attentive to the one who has been supportive).  So perhaps Ike was saying, “stick to the risky behavior that has made you successful”?  Maybe this can be a follow-up song for Shania Twain as well?  A big thank you to Linda Bernstein who heard this one and passed it on!

The book is running away from the charts

A TV host was interviewing an author, and commenting on the author’s successful book (on the NY Times bestseller list).  This seems to be a mashup of “run away with” (win handily) and “off the charts” (spectacular).  Both phrases refer to something or someone having success, hence the mixup in context.  A big thanks to Verbatim for hearing this one and sending it in.

Speaking of books running away from the charts, check out my malaphor book, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”, available on Amazon.  They’re selling like butter!  https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692652205


Don’t beat a horse while it’s down

In the seemingly never ending mashups of idioms involving the word “horse”, I give you this latest one, uttered by my grandnephew Nathan Hatfield.   His Dad was asking him about a project he was working on.  It is a mashup of “Kick (one) when (one) is down” (to criticize someone wh has already suffered a setback) and “beat a dead horse” (to continue to focus or talk about something).  Idioms that include the word “horse” are for some reason continually mixed up.  See my website and type in “horse”.  You will be amazed.  A big thanks to John Hatfield III for hearing this one and passing it on!

beating a dead horse


Why climate change deniers are running out of rope

This is actually the title of an article in The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/17/climate-science-deniers-environment-warning

It is a mashup of “running out of time” (to no longer have any time left to finish an activity) and, based on the context,  I believe “on the ropes” (close to defeat).  “At the end of (one’s) rope” (completely worn out) might also be in the mix as both idioms refer to the end of an activity.  A big thanks to John Kooser who spotted this one in plain sight.