She’s got a new project on the fire

This malaphor was spoken on Entertainment Tonight. It is a mash up of “iron(s) in the fire” (an undertaking or project in progress) and a project “on the front burner” (receiving immediate attention), although “on the back burner” (not requiring immediate attention) might be in the mix if the project is not quite “on the fire”.  “On fire” (doing very well, enthusiastic) may also be in play if the project is really heating up. Burners are associated with fire so my guess is that this where the mix-up occurred in the brain. Many thanks to Jack Chandler for hearing this one and passing it on.

I have too many fires on the plate

This is a mash up of “too many irons in the fire” (many things happening at once) and “my plate is full” (working at capacity on many things).  It is similar to previous malaphors (“lot of irons in the pipeline” – 12/13/12 – “lot of balls in the fire” – 7/17/13), all referring to many things happening at the same time.  Perhaps that is what the mind does with expressions: juggling a million in the brain and two similar ones spit out.  A big thank you to David Spain for overhearing this one.


I have a lot of balls in the fire

Ouch!  This is a mix up of “irons in the fire” (a number of jobs or possibilities at the same time) and “balls in the air” (many things happening at once).   A big thanks to Martin Pietrucha for sending this one in.


We’ve got a lot of irons in the pipeline

This is a conflation of “in the pipeline” (plan being developed) and “irons in the fire” ( a number of jobs or possibilities available at the same time).  I saw this in a memo years ago.  As with most great unintentional malaphors, if you heard this at a meeting it might give you slight pause but it fits in the context so you probably would not remember it minutes later.