The USFL went down in smoke because of Trump

I am guilty of this one.  I was talking to my wife about what happened when Trump convinced the USFL owners to change the schedule from the Spring to the Fall season in order to compete head to head against the NFL.  This is a congruent conflation of “up in smoke” and “down in flames”, both meaning something failed or was destroyed.  Flames and smoke are the culprits here.  Also down and up.  Directionally challenged semantically?


It’s got everything under the book

The speaker was describing all the rides and other attractions at a particular amusement park and blurted this malaphor out.  It’s a nice conflation of “everything under the sun” (nearly everything one can reasonably imagine) and I believe “by the book” (strictly following the rules).  However, because of the word “every”, the mix up could include “every trick in the book” (every possible way to achieve something).   There may also be a malaphor thyme, here, and the speaker might have been thinking of the phrase “look under the hood” (examine the engine in a car).  A shout out to Caleb Harris for hearing this one and sending it in!

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They keep kicking themselves in the foot

During the second intermission of the Penguins/Capitals hockey game last night, a commentator asked why the Capitals keep “kicking themselves in the foot.”  This is a nice mashup of “kick yourself (or themselves)” (annoyed with yourself for doing something) and “shooting yourself (themselves) in the foot” (to cause oneself difficulty).  Shooting and kicking are the culprits of the mix up.  A tip of the toque to Steve Kovacs for sharing this one.


We are breaking the air

The speaker was talking about meeting new people when moving to university, and uttered this nice malaphor.  It is a mashup of “clearing the air” (to remove doubt from a situation) and “breaking the ice” (to do something that reduces tension or unfamiliarity).  I couldn’t help think that “breaking wind” (farting) might also have been in the mix, as wind and air might have been confused.  However, farting was probably not what the speaker wants to do when meeting new people, and then again, perhaps a freudian slip?  Anyway, it’s a nice mix up and a big thanks to bittenbyfrost for sending this one in!

Those politicians are just a crowd of gravy diggers

This one was overheard recently from malaphor follower Pat Mattimoe.  Pat says “this is what happens when the gold-diggers get on the gravy train.”  It’s a nice mashup of “gold digger” (a person who only pursues romantic relationships for financial gain) and “on the gravy train” (to be in a position of making lots of money without expending much effort).  Both phrases involve getting lots of money.  Perhaps the speaker had the monster truck jam tv commercial that always includes “Gravedigger!!”.  Who knows?  All I know it is an excellent malaphor.  Thanks Pat!

We’ll be buttoning down the hatches

Mayor Randall Henderson, Jr. Of Fort Myers, FL uttered this one on The Weather Channel as the city was bracing for hurricane Irma.  It is a nice mix up of “batten down the hatches”  (to prepare for a challenging situation) and “button up” (to close something, usually a space, securely).  One might argue that this is just a malaprop, confusing batten with button.  However, as Malaphor King, I determine that it is a malaphor.  The speaker might have been confusing up with down, and he was referring to the city needing to secure itself for the impending storm, hence the idea of buttoning up something.  A big thanks to Steve Kovacs for hearing this one and sending it in.

It’s dead as a cucumber

Chris Matthews from MSNBC was referring to the Graham-Cassidy Health Bill when he uttered this beauty.  He immediately realized his mistake and then said “dead as a door nail” but it was too late.  The malaphor is in the books.  It is a mashup of “dead as a door nail” (undoubtedly dead) and “cool as a cucumber” (extremely calm and in control of your emotions).  Certainly when you are dead you are pretty cool temperature-wise.  Perhaps this is what Mr. Matthews was thinking. I’m glad cucumbers are dead.  I still remember live tomatoes in the movie “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.”  A big thanks to “my ol’ pal” Beatrice Zablocki for hearing this one and passing it on quickly.

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