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:
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!
This one comes on the heels of my last malaphor, both uttered by Joe Biden in the same speech. See https://malaphors.com/2020/07/13/the-chinese-are-spending-multiple-billions-of-dollars-trying-to-own-the-technology-of-the-future-while-we-sit-with-our-thumb-in-our-ear/
This one appears near the end of the speech. Here is the text:
The only thing that can tear America part, and I mean this sincerely, no foreign country, not the way he coddles up to, well, I shouldn’t even get into this, but coddles up to Putin and others. They can’t tear us apart.
This is a mashup of “cuddle up to” (get close to, ingratiate) and “coddle” (treat tenderly). A big thanks to Frank King for hearing this one on Morning Joe!
The Chinese are spending multiple billions of dollars trying to own the technology of the future while we sit with our thumb in our earPosted: July 13, 2020
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden uttered this one in his speech last week in Dunmore, PA. I believe this is a body part mashup of “close your ears (to something)” or “fingers in your ears” (ignore something) and “have (one’s) thumb up (one’s) ass” (not doing what you should be doing). Not sure this one was on the teleprompter. If not, perhaps Joe changed his mind mid- phrase when he was about to utter the word “ass”. You can find the quote here: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/07/09/joe-biden-economic-plan-355416
A big thanks to Fred Martin and Beatrice Zablocki for both catching this one live and sending a quick email to me. I have a feeling that the next few months will bring an abundance of malaphors. Keep your eyes and ears peeled!
The speaker was discussing Biden’s recent bragging about working with segregationists and uttered this malaphor. It is a mashup of “to put (one’s) foot in “one’s” mouth” (unintentionally say something foolish) and “have a lead foot” (tend to speed when driving). “Go over like a lead balloon” (utter failure) might also be in the mix, as it seems to fit in context. This one reminds me of the famous malaphor uttered by Ann Richards at the 1988 Democratic Convention, when she referred to George H.W. Bush as someone who “was born with a silver foot in his mouth”. Check that one out in my website at https://malaphors.com/politics/. A big thanks to John Kooser for uttering this one and unabashedly submitting it!
This one conjures up a scary/humorous image. Former House Rep Joe Crowley (D-NY) (who was unseated by AOC) said this beaut on MSNBC today. He was asked if he had any advice for the Biden campaign and this was his answer. It is a congruent conflation of “press the flesh” and “shake hands and kiss babies”, both meaning to go out and meet as many people as possible. Mike Kovacs, Chief Operating Officer for Malaphor Central, heard this one and sent it in immediately. Mike noted that there are several cheap jokes embedded in this malaphor. Crowley lost to AOC, who as many will remember shook the flesh in a great dance video. Also, Mike queried whether Biden at his age could shake the flesh considering the loss of elasticity, but I believe that actually works to Joe’s advantage.
Zerlina Maxwell said this on MSNBC’s Hardball recently. She was speaking about Biden and that since 21 Dems are running (and counting), he can’t be sure he will get the nomination. Ms. Maxwell actually uttered this same malaphor last year when she was talking about Democrats avoiding calls for impeaching Trump. Here was my post:
Zerlina Maxwell on MSNBC’s “Live with Katie Tur” uttered this beauty when she was talking about Democrats avoiding calls for impeaching Trump. This is a barnyard mashup of “don’t count your chickens before they hatch” (don’t make future plans before they happen) and “chickens come home to roost” (you have to face the consequences of your mistakes). “Chickens” of course are the culprit here, contributing to the mental yolk. These fowl phrases seem to get mixed up a lot – see “Never count your eggs before they hatch (July 9, 2012 post) , and “Might the roosters be guarding the henhouse?” (August 2, 2014 post). I was eggcited when several people laid this one on me. First was the ubiquitous Mike Kovacs, followed quickly by James Kozlowski and Bob Maxwell (no relation). Malaphor spotters are everywhere it seems.
Zerlina, if you are following, please keep them coming. We need to egg this process forward. This is a favorite of mine. The latest barnyard mashup was brought to you compliments of Beatrice Zablocki (“my ol’ pal”).
This beauty was uttered by Vice President Joe Biden on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. He was talking about both parties and noting that they were not very good “at listening to the concerns of ordinary people busting their necks.” http://info.msnbc.com/_news/2016/07/27/35882707-morning-joe-news-joe-biden-says-the-democratic-party-overall-hasnt-spoken-enough-to-white-working-class-voters?lite
This is a nice congruent conflation of “busting their butts” and “breaking their necks”, both meaning to work very hard. The confusion not only stems from the similar meanings of both phrases but also the words “bust” and “break”. In addition, as noted here many times, body parts are often mixed up in the wonderful world of malaphors. A big thanks to Linda Bernstein for catching this in the NY Times and passing it on!
Did you like this one? Well, I have an entire section devoted to malaphors spoken by politicians in my new book He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors! And malaphors are not partial to one political party. Read great ones uttered by Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and more!!! Get it on Amazon now at http://www.amazon.com/dp/0692652205!