I slept like a dog last night

Dogs sleep pretty soundly, but this is definitely a malaphor.  It is a mash up of “slept like a log (or baby)” (restful sleep)  and “let sleeping dogs lie” (do not instigate trouble).  Nice mix up as it involves assonance (log, dog, and lie, like) and similar words in the phrases (sleep, dog).  This beauty was uttered by John Costello, one of my roving malaphor reporters!

Beschreibung Sleeping dog 98a.jpg


Don’t wake up a sleeping dog

Here is another beaut from the sports world.   Miami Heat center Chris Bosh, commenting on Lance Stephenson of the Pacers trash-talking Lebron James said,  “Don’t wake up a sleeping dog. That’s a lesson I learned a long time ago.”   This is a great mash-up of “let sleeping dogs lie” (leave something alone that may cause trouble) and “don’t wake a sleeping giant”   (something powerful that is not dangerous unless provoked).  Confusion lies in the common word “sleeping” and that some dogs can be dangerous if provoked.   A big shout out to Justin Taylor for catching this one!  Reference is below:
Source here: http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2014-05-25/sports/fl-miami-heat-main-0526-20140525_1_lebron-james-lance-stephenson-stephenson-and-james

Let dead dogs sleep

Cover of "Anguished English: An Anthology...

Cover via Amazon

This is a conflation of “let sleeping dogs lie” (leave something alone that might cause trouble) and I think “don’t beat a dead horse” (don’t waste time doing something that has already been attempted).   When you mix dogs with horses, and sleeping with lying and dying, you get this malaphor.  This one comes from Richard Lederer‘s  Anguished English: An Anthology of Accidental Assaults Upon the English Language, rev. ed. Wyrick, 2006.