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!


Stem this dam

Heidi Przybyla was on Nicole Wallace’s MSNBC show, Deadline White House, and was talking about members of Congress coming forward and admitting that Biden won. She said there is a “question if those coming forward are going to be enough to stem this dam for part of the country.” This appears to be an incongruent conflation (mix of two idioms with opposite meanings) of “stem the tide” (stop the course of a trend or tendency) and “break the dam” (allow information to flow). A big thanks to Bruce Ryan and Frank King for both hearing this one and sending it in.


I think that’s going to throw them for a curve

This one was spoken by Brad Fox on the HGTV show “Should I Stay or Go”. The homeowners were given an unexpected choice. This is a congruent conflation of “throws (someone) a curve” and “throws (someone) for a loop”, both meaning something unexpected that upsets or confuses someone. “Throw” is the common denominator here that causes the confusion. I have previously posted its bookend, “throws you a loop”, and you can revisit that malaphor at this link – https://malaphors.com/2014/06/09/the-business-side-always-throws-you-a-loop/. A tip of the hat to Yvonne Stam for hearing this one and sending it in!


That’s not what you call leading from the front foot

Nikema Williams (D-GA) was talking on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports about the current poor leadership. This is a mashup of “leading from the front” (to act or behave the way one advises or espouses) and “getting off on the right foot” (to have a positive or favorable start). I suppose that is better than leading from the back foot. Another big thanks to Frank King for hearing this one.


She flipped her tune

This is another from Naomi David. She was talking about someone changing her opinion. This is a congruent conflation of “change (one’s) tune” and “flipped”, both meaning to change or reverse course, or change sides in a controversy. “Flipped the script” (make a total reversal or radical change) might also have been on the speaker’s mind (a shout out to Verbatim for noting this). In this current political climate, she may have been thinking of states “flipping” from red to blue or vice versa. A big thanks to Naomi and to Katie Norwood for hearing this one and passing it on.


We can’t give up our guard right now

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former FDA Commissioner, was interviewed on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” about the coronavirus, and how we are entering the hardest point in the pandemic. This is a conflation of “lower our guard” (to become less vigilant) and “give up” (to yield or relinquish something). “Give up the ghost” (to die) might also be in the mix, given the context. Kudos to Frank King for spotting this in a CNN tweet.


She shouldn’t sleep where she eats

There was a conversation about a person who got intimate with someone related to her boss. This is a nice conflation of “sleep around” (to engage in sex with many different partners) and “don’t shit where you eat” (do not engage in troublesome or dubious behavior at home or at work). A big thanks to Doree Simon for spotting this one and sending it in!

Fun fact: Eating while asleep is a disorder. It’s called sleep-related eating disorder (SRED) and is a type of parasomnia (sleep disorder) characterized by abnormal eating patterns during the night. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/12123-sleep-related-eating-disorders#:~:text=People%20with%20sleep%2Drelated%20eating,the%20night%20with%20full%20awareness.


Bleeding the cow

This rare comment was noticed in an online comment.  The commenter was talking about Attorney General Barr’s undermining the confidence in voting by mail, and the desperation of Trump and his minions to stay in power so that they can benefit financially.  This is a congruent conflation of “milking the cow” and “bleeding/milking (something) dry”, both meaning to take as much of something from someone or something as possible.  “Cash cow” (an investment that generates a lot of income) may also be in the mix, considering the context.  A big thanks to Ron MacDonald for spotting this one.


We pulled out all the strings

This was heard on the CBS tv show “The Greatest #AtHome Videos”.  Cedric the Entertainer teamed with Kristen Chenoweth to surprise a group of young performers.  One of the performers uttered this nice malaphor.  You can hear it here:  https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=785249305547779

It is a mashup of “pull out all the stops” (to do someting with maximum effort or ability) and “pull the strings” (to be in control of events or some other people’s actions).  “Pulled on our heart strings” might also be in the mix.  “Pull” is the common denominator here, and “strings” and “stops” are also similar sounding words, adding to the confusion.  A big thanks to Lou Pugliese who heard this one and passed it on.