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He’s got nothing to hang his head on

University of Virginia basketball guard Kyle Guy was remarking on the 42 point performance of Carsen Edwards of Purdue, even though Purdue lost.  This is a brilliant mashup of “hang (one’s) head” (express shame or contrition) and  “hang (one’s) hat on (something)” (depend or rely on something).  “Hang” is in both expressions and “head” and “hat” are similar sounding and visually close.  A big thanks to Tom Justice for hearing this one.  Wahoowa!

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There are people waiting around the wings

This one was uttered by Heather McGee on MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace.  She was referring to people wanting to challenge Donald Trump in 2020.  It is a mashup of “waiting in the wings” (stand ready to do something at the appropriate time) and I think “just around the corner” (very soon, imminent).  As followers of this website know, MSNBC is known as The Malaphor Channel.  Malaphors tend to be spoken when someone is filling up airspace, such as political pundits, sports radio shows, and athletes being interviewed.  A big thanks to Guy Moody for spotting this subtle one.


The swallows are coming home to roost

The speaker was talking about a group of people getting what they deserved based on their actions.  It is a conflation of “chickens coming home to roost” (facing the consequences of your actions) and the song “When the swallows come back to Capistrano”.  This one reminds me of one of my favorite malaphors that I previously posted and which appears in my book, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692652205

Alabama State Representative John Rogers, in response to questions about his protests outside a hospital that is about to be closed, said “We’ll be here until the cows come home from Capistrano”.  Here’s the link:  http://blog.al.com/archiblog/2012/11/why_not_give_rep_john_rogers_w.html

Those swallows (or cows or chickens) from Capistrano sure get around.  A big thanks to John Kooser for hearing this one.


It sticks under my skin

Noah Rothman uttered this nice malaphor on the MSNBC show, “Morning Joe”, on March 21.  He was referring to Trump’s comments about McCain and Obamacare.  It is a congruent conflation (two idioms mixed with the same meaning) of “sticks in (one’s) craw” and “gets under (someone’s) skin”, both referring to something that is irritating or bothersome to someone.

So what’s a craw?

A craw is the crop of a bird or insect, the transferred sense of the word to refer to a person’s gullet (Free Dictionary).  Perhaps Mr. Rothman is a Frank Sinatra fan, thinking of the song “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”.  A big thanks to Frank King for hearing this one!


Hang your heads high

This one jumped to the front of the queue, as it is very timely.  The speaker was discussing a recent NCAA mens’ basketball tournament game, and uttered this beauty about the Old Dominion University’s basketball game where they lost to Purdue in the first round.  The speaker tweeted:

Hang your heads high @ODUMensHoops. You all made us proud this season.  #MonarchMadness.  https://twitter.com/Brackintology/status/1108947588697317377

This is a nice incongruent conflation of “hang (one’s) head” (express shame or contrition) and “hold (one’s) head (up) high” (to display confidence and pride).  Perhaps the team is proud and ashame at the same time?  The mixup originates with the two similar sounding words, “hang” and “hold”.  A big thanks to Tom Justice who saw this one and sent it here to Malaphor Central.


He’s like a kid in a china shop

I heard this one from a neighbor.  She was talking about her husband’s love of gadgets, and that he recently received a new tool that he was crazy about.  This is an incongruent conflation of “like a kid in a candy shop” (so excited about something that they behave in a child-like way) and “like a bull in a china shop” (clumsily destructive).  The mixup derives from the similar sounding words “china” and “candy”, the word “shop” used in both phrases, and that the two phrases are equal in words and structure (“like a blank in a blank shop”).

 


Right out of the get-go

This was heard on a podcast.  It is a nice congruent conflation of “from the get-go” and “right out of the gate” (immediately, right from the start).  Lots of alliteration in this one, contibuting to the mashup.  This is not a malaphor in Pittsburgh, however.  It means “just finished getting gas”.  A big thanks to Vicki Ameel-Kovacs for hearing this one!