Posted: May 16, 2020 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Biden, eat him alive, humor, idioms, language, malaphor, tear him apart, Trump, words
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!
Posted: May 11, 2020 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Boston Globe, clearing a hurdle, expressions, football, humor, language, malaphor, many rivers to cross, mountains to climb, New England Patriots, words
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:
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.
Posted: May 6, 2020 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: expressions, Fauci, humor, idioms, language, making a mistake, malaphor, taking a risk, Washington Posta, words
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.
Posted: May 4, 2020 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: blood-curdling, covid-19, humor, idioms, language, malaphor, malaphors, nerve-racking, Rachel Maddow, words
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!
Posted: April 20, 2020 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ducks in a row, expressions, fall in place, humor, idioms, language, malaphor, words
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.
Posted: April 15, 2020 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: expressions, humor, idioms, jennifer Aniston, Jimmy Kimmel, language, malaphor, went around him, went behind his back, words
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!
Posted: April 8, 2020 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Courtney Kubeg, expressions, humor, language, malaphor, raise the alarm, ring the bell, words
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.
Posted: April 3, 2020 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Ari Melber, dig your heels in, drag your feet, expressions, humor, language, malaphor, MSNBC, words
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.
Posted: March 30, 2020 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: expressions, humor, knock someone sideways, language, malaphor, threw me for a loop, throw a monkey wrench in the works, Washington Post, words
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:
A tip of the hat to Barry Eigen who spotted this timely malaphor.