Overheard at a WalMart at midnight: two women were talking about another woman’s unusual outfit and one of them uttered this classic malaphor. It is a congruent conflation of “whatever floats your boat” and “whatever turns you on”, both meaning whatever makes you happy. The phrases both begin with “whatever”, and with boats capsizing, you can see where the confusion arises. A big thanks to John Kooser who heard this one while doing some midnight shopping.
If you enjoyed this one, and are thinking about how to fill that Christmas stocking, why not get the malaphor book, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”? It’s available on Amazon for a cheap 7.99. Makes a great addition to any bathroom.
Did your mother ever tell you this? Well, the submitter’s mom did, and it is a nice conflation of the admonitions “don’t chew with your mouth open” and “don’t talk with your mouth full”. The corollary of course is “don’t talk with your mouth open”, advice many should follow. A big thanks to Timothy Kendall for sharing this one.
This one comes from the sports world. Here’s the full context: “Sunday’s Bills-Jaguars game started off tense when Jalen Ramsey took time from his busy day to remind Buffalo’s players they were trash. That conflict boiled to a head in the third quarter when a brawl erupted on the turf at New Era Field.” Here’s the citation: https://www.sbnation.com/2018/11/25/18111422/jaguars-bills-fight-leonard-fournette-shaq-lawson.
This is a nice conflation of “boiled over” (to become extremely intense or out of control) and “come to a head” (to reach a point of intensity at which action must be taken). “Come to a boil” (to reach a crucial point) is also probably in the mix considering the context. A boil on the skin has a “head” of sorts and so could have been in the writer’s mind. A big thanks to Barry Eigen for spotting this one!
Not quite Rowan and Martin. The submitter’s wife uttered this nice word blend, which is a conflation of “Funk and Wagnalls” (dictionary/encyclopedia) and “Strunk and White” (American English writing style guide). The Funk/Strunk rhyming is obviously the culprit here. A big thanks to Martin Pietrucha for hearing this one and sending it in.
If you want to look up “malaphors”, purchase the malaphor book, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”, on Amazon. Makes a great stocking stuffer (or fire starter).
No, this was not said in an erectile dysfunction commercial, but rather by Heidi Przybyla on MSNBC’s Morning Joe the other day. She was talking about the Mueller investigation. It is a congruent conflation of “petering out” and “winding down”, both meaning to slowly come to a conclusion or end. Another tip of the hat to Frank King for spotting this one. He has the ears of a hawk.
This is a mashup of the phrases “better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick” (better than nothing) and “kick in the pants” (message or gesture that acts as motivation for the recipient). Kicking and poking are confused here. Or maybe the speaker was saying just do something to get motivated? A big thanks to Eric for sending this one in!