The “Great Malaphor Hunter”, Mike Kovacs, uttered this one at lunch the other day. He was talking about Facebook posts and how people don’t engage in actual discussions with others with opposing views. This is a nice mashup of “live in a bubble” (separated from society or sheltered) and “echo chamber” (a metaphorical description of a situation in which beliefs are amplified or reinforced by communication and repetition inside a closed system). When I heard this, I immediately thought of Get Smart and the “cone of silence”. A big thanks to Anthony Kovacs for outting his Dad, malaphorically speaking.
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Someone was referring to the Repbulicans’ defense in the Trump impeachment hearings. This is a nice word blend of “humbug” (deceptive or false talk) and “mumbo jumbo” (intended to cause confusion). Both expressions refer to misleading someone. Maybe it’s a new expression, meaning deceptive talk meant to confuse? A big thanks to John Kooser who overheard this one.
Political pundit Charlie Sykes uttered this one on MSNBC’s Hardball (hosted by the Malaphor King, Chris Matthews – see website for the many contributions). This is a mashup of “run point” (take the lead) and “give cover” (protect from attack). Perhaps Mr. Sykes was thinking (or hoping) about “running for cover”, but there is no indication any Republican is doing that at this point. A big thanks to Frank King for hearing this one and sharing it.
The submitter’s wife was talking about someone who was going to upstage him. This is a nice mashup of “steal your thunder” (garner the attention or prasie that one had been expecting for some accomplishment) and “take the wind out of your sails”(diminish one’s enthusiasm about something). Both phrases involve taking away something from someone. Also, sails and wind often are accompanied by thunder, right? A big thanks to Martin Pietrucha for hearing this one and passing it on.
This was uttered in response to finding a cake topping used in childhood. It’s a congruent conflation of ‘blast from the past” and “flashback”, both describing something that evokes a sense of nostalgia. “Blast” and “past” are similar sounding. A big thanks to Nick Mamalis for saying this one and Elaine Hatfield for sharing it.
This one comes from the tv show Scrubs. While intentional, it’s a classic malaphor and worth posting (although it does go against the rules that the malaphor spoken or written should be unintentional). Still, too good to pass up. It’s a mashup (of course) of “thick as thieves” (a close alliance or friendship) and “like two peas in a pod” (similar interests or beliefs). This one works on many levels – similar idioms, and the rhyme of “peas” and “thieves”. A big thanks to Elly Pietrucha for spotting this one on a rerun.