Trump’s going to eat him apart

Two people were overheard talking about upcoming the 2020 presidential debates between Trump and Joe Biden. One person said of Trump: “Trump’s going to eat him apart….”  This is a nice congruent conflation of “eat him alive” and “tear him apart”, both meaning to overwhelm and defeat or dominate another.  “Eat his lunch” might also be in the mix, as it has the same meaning as the conflated idioms.  My guess is that Biden might be a little tough to chew.  A big thank you to Verbatim for sending this one in!


The chips are starting to crumble

This beauty was tweeted by Eric Trump a few days ago.  Here is the link to the tweet and malaphor responses:

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/eric-trump-confuses-cliches-reaction_n_5ebcf01dc5b628279b41e292

It is a mashup of “when the chips are down” (when a situation has become difficult) and “that’s the way the cookie crumbles” (accepting the way things happen even if it’s not what you wanted).  “let the chips fall as they may” (let a situation unfloed without worrying about the consequences) is probably also in the mix.  It’s possible Eric was staring at the end of a bag of potato chips when he tweeted this, where all that’s left is the crumbles.  Of course the best method to dispose of them is to tilt the bag to your mouth as the picture suggests (tip of the day!). Either that or Eric’s digits must have been greasy when typing that tweet.  A big thanks to Dave Wells and Lou Pugliese who sent this one it at the same time.


Plenty of hurdles to climb

This malaphor was found in the The Boston Globe (below), announcing this year’s NFL schedule and discussing the New England Patriots’ challenges.  It is a mashup of “mountains to climb” (difficult challenges) and “clearing a hurdle” (overcoming an obstacle).  For some reason,  the phrase “clearing a hurdle” gets mixed up with other idioms a lot.  I have posted many on this website, including “And I’ve only jumped through the first one of these hurdles”, “we’ve jumped over the last hoop”, and one of my all time favorites, “we have so many hurdles to cross”.  https://malaphors.com/2014/04/25/and-ive-only-jumped-through-the-first-one-of-these-hurdles/  https://malaphors.com/2014/02/15/we-have-so-many-hurdles-to-cross/  https://malaphors.com/2018/01/23/weve-jumped-over-the-last-hoop/
Perhaps the writer was thinking of the great Jimmy Cliff song “Many Rivers to Cross” when he wrote this.  A big thanks to John Costello for spotting this one and sending it in.  here’s the link:
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/05/07/sports/patriots-2020-schedule/

Patriots’ 2020 schedule released: Open vs. Dolphins at home; back-to-back games in Los Angeles in December

With multiple trips to the west coast and one big one to visit the defending Super Bowl champions, the Patriots have plenty of hurdles to climb this season.

You’re making a really significant risk

This was from a headline in the Washington Post: “Fauci warns states rushing to reopen: ‘You’re making a really significant risk.”  This is a mashup of “making a mistake” (to do something incorrectly) and “taking a risk” (doing something with a high probability of a negative outcome).  “Taking” and “making” are mixed up here.   https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/05/01/fauci-open-states-coronavirus/

A big thanks to Barry Eigen for spotting this subtle one.


It’s nerve curdling

Rachel Maddow said this one on her show on April 30, referring to the Covid-19 outbreak in Nebraska.  It’s a mashup of “blood-curdling” (causing terror or horror) and “nerve-racking” (something stressful or anxiety-inducing).   I suppose nerves could curdle when alarmed or stressed out.   A big thanks to Frank King who heard this one and passed it on. @maddow
If you liked this Rachel malaphor, you will be happy to hear that I am about to publish my second malaphor book that has a whole section devoted to Maddow Malaphors.  The book is a compilation of malaphors from politicians and pundits.  It’s the top of the cake!  Be on the lookout on this website for the release date!

They help put all the ducks in place

My wife and I heard this one on the PBS Newshour.  A person was talking about how her parents are helping her during the pandemic.  This is a congruent conflation of “put your ducks in a row” and “fall in place”, both meaning to be organized or things fitting well.    I supposed one needs to put the ducks in their place when arranging them in a row.


I went around his back

At first blush, this sounds right but on closer inspection I think it’s a bona fide malaphor.  In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Jennifer Aniston said this one when she was talking about auditioning for a role on the soap opera in which her Dad was a regular cast member.   It’s a congruent conflation of “go behind (someone’s) back” and “go around”, both meaning to do something secretly or without your permission.  This subtle mashup required someone with the ears of a hawk and that would be none other than Mike Kovacs, a regular contributor to this website.  Thanks Mike!

 


The Captain of the aircraft carrier didn’t raise alarm bells

Courtney Kube uttered this one on MSNBC the other night.  It is a congruent conflation of “raise the alarm” and “ring the bell”, both meaning to warn someone.  A big thanks to that hawk-eared malaphor catcher Frank King for hearing this one!
If you liked this one, check out the book on malaphors, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”, available on Amazon.  An easy read while isolating.

Trump is digging in his feet

This was heard on MSNBC’s The Beat with Ari Melber in a discussion of the coronavirus and the White House response.  This is a mashup of “dig in (one’s) heels” (resist stubbornly) and “drag (one’s) feet” (deliberately slow or reluctant to act).  “Dig” and “drag” sound similar and feet have heels so that contributed to the mixup.  A shout out to Frank King for hearing this one.

The covid-19 thing has really thrown a wrench in us sideways

This one comes from the Washington Post.  It is a mashup of “throw a (monkey) wrench in the works” (to do something that prevents a plan from succeeding) and “knock (someone) sideways” (to upset, confuse, or shock).  Maybe “thrown (someone) for a loop” (to confuse or shock) is also in the mix.  The expression “throw a (monkey) wrench in the works” seems to be garbled a lot.  I have posted several malaphors involving the expression, including “throw another kink in the fire”, “a wrench had been thrown in the bucket”, and “he really threw a monkey wrench into that fire”. https://malaphors.com/2017/11/01/throw-another-kink-in-the-wrench/, https://malaphors.com/2016/10/04/a-wrench-had-been-thrown-into-the-bucket/, https://malaphors.com/2013/02/08/he-really-threw-a-monkey-wrench-into-that-fire/

Here’s the cite:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/03/26/it-was-worst-week-economy-decades-pain-is-just-beginning/

A tip of the hat to Barry Eigen who spotted this timely malaphor.