Press the envelope

Kurt Warner on NFL Network’s Saturday Night Football uttered this mashup. It is a congruent conflation of “press the issue” and “push the envelope”, both meaning to exceed the test the limits of something. “Press” and “push” are similar in sound and meaning, so I think that’s the culprit here. A big thanks to timmyk for hearing this one and sending it in.


Republicans didn’t blink twice

From Robert Reich: “Republicans didn’t blink twice when they handed out $6.3 billion in tax breaks to their wealthy corporate backers, but when it came to getting direct relief to struggling Americans $600 was the best they could do. Their priorities couldn’t be clearer.” https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/12/25/how-richest-1-percent-came-out-big-winners-covid-relief-bill

This is a mashup of “did not blink” (to not show any shock or surprise) and “not think twice” (act or do something without hesitating). “Blink” and “think” rhyme, contributing to this mental hiccup. A tip of the hat to Barry Eigen for spotting this subtle one.


He’s paid his time

Ali Velshi on MSNBC was talking about pardons, and those who should be pardoned. He then uttered this nice congruent conflation of “done (one’s) time” and “paid (one’s) dues/debts”, both meaning to have served a sentence. A tip of the Santa hat to Frank King for hearing this one and sending it in.


You’re a one-horse pony

Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked President-elect a question : “Mr. President-elect, do you still think that stories about your son Hunter were Russian disinformation?” Biden responded, “Yes, yes and yes. God love you, man. You’re a one-horse pony, I tell ya.” Here’s the exchange:

https://www.rawstory.com/biden-fires-back-at-fox/?fbclid=IwAR1k3eNzyPxvRRifylrbY7UanCe9H4krhYI_Yb5xmCXlhz42sYRzg7CWd4A

This is a great mashup of “one-trick pony” (someone who is limited to one talent or repeats the same thing) and “one-horse town” (small, unimportant place). Both have the word “one” in them and of course are tied with the equestrian theme. Since this was uttered just a few days before Christmas, the song “Jingle Bells” and “a one-horse open sleigh” might have been on the President-elect’s mind. A tip of the Santa toque to Bruce Ryan who spotted this one first. Others who sent this one in include Ron MacDonald, nutshell_blogger, Robert McLaughlin (via Steve Grieme) and Fred Martin. They are all certainly not one-horse ponies!


They turned up the notch

Stephen Bardo, former NBA star and now basketball analyst for Fox Sports One, was commenting at the end of the Indiana/Butler basketball game how Indiana came back strong in the second half. This is a mashup of “turn up the heat” and “take it up a notch”, both meaning to do something with more determination or intensity. This is a classic congruent conflation, mixing two similar meaning idioms together. They tend to be subtle and therefore a little more difficult to spot. Kudos to Bruce Ryan for hearing this one and calling it in.


All that and a bowl of chips

Al Sharpton said this one on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. It is a nice mashup of “all that and a bag of chips” (something very special) and “bowl of cherries” (very pleasant, wonderful). This one is close to a congruent conflation as both idioms refer to something positive. Sharpton might have been thinking about that ubiquitous bowl of potato or tortilla chips parked on the cocktail table for Sunday football.

The phrase “all that and a bag of chips” appears to be new slang, with origins perhaps as recent as the 90s. The phrase is credited to Subway, where initially a bag of chips was included in the price, so you got “all that and a bag of chips.” A big shout out to Mike Kovacs who heard this one and texted it in.


I’m in hog city

The speaker was enjoying himself, and unintentionally uttered this perfectly formed congruent conflation of “in hog heaven” and “fat city”, both meaning pleasant situations (the latter usually referring to a state of wealth). “Living high off the hog” (to prosper or live very well) could also be in the mix, as it has the same meaning as “fat city”. A big thanks to Bill Belanger for blurting out this one and sending it in! Oink oink.


I have been beating the horn

Jeremy Harris, actor and playwright, was on Late Night with Seth Myers. He was talking about the federal theater project and how enthusiastic he was about it. This is a conflation of “beating the drum for” (promoting someone or something) and “blowing/tooting (one’s) own horn” (boast or brag about one’s abilities). “Beating the bushes” (trying very hard to achieve something) might be in play here as well given the context. And no, the subject was not masturbation. A big thanks to Sam Edelmann who heard this one and sent it in!


The truth is in the pudding

A defendant was telling Judge Judy that the facts will come out shortly. This is a conflation of “the truth will out” (the facts will always be discovered) and “the proof is in the pudding” (the final results of something are the only way to judge its quality or veracity). Some may think this is a malaprop (mistaken use of a similar sounding word) – “truth” for “proof”. However, given the context, it is very likely the speaker confused two idioms resulting in a nice malaphor. A big thanks to Vicki Ameel-Kovacs for hearing this one and Mike Kovacs for his cub reporting.


They are not going to let this ship go down in flames

Kasie Hunt on MSNBC’s Morning Joe was musing about Republican senators not wanting the party to go down with Trump. I believe this is a conflation of “go down with the ship” (to fall or be punished because of one’s involvement with some larger group or enterprise) and “go down in flames” (fail spectacularly). “Shot down in flames” (judged harshly and rejected) might also be in the mix given the context. “Go down” is in both phrases, so is probably the cause of the mixup. A big thanks to Bruce Ryan for hearing this one and sending it in!