Coaches shouldn’t browbeat players over the head

This was uttered on a sports radio show (of course).  The speaker was talking about Tom Izzo and his rant at his players during the NCAA tournament.  It is a nice mashup of “browbeat (someone) into (something)” (bully or initmidate) and “beat (someone) over the head (with a fact or opinion)” (emphasize or repeat something strongly).  The word “browbeat” originally (1580s?) meant “to bear down with stern or arrogant looks,” and later became a term used for “bullying”.  A big thanks to John Kooser for hearing this one.


He’s got nothing to hang his head on

University of Virginia basketball guard Kyle Guy was remarking on the 42 point performance of Carsen Edwards of Purdue, even though Purdue lost.  This is a brilliant mashup of “hang (one’s) head” (express shame or contrition) and  “hang (one’s) hat on (something)” (depend or rely on something).  “Hang” is in both expressions and “head” and “hat” are similar sounding and visually close.  A big thanks to Tom Justice for hearing this one.  Wahoowa!

There are people waiting around the wings

This one was uttered by Heather McGee on MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace.  She was referring to people wanting to challenge Donald Trump in 2020.  It is a mashup of “waiting in the wings” (stand ready to do something at the appropriate time) and I think “just around the corner” (very soon, imminent).  As followers of this website know, MSNBC is known as The Malaphor Channel.  Malaphors tend to be spoken when someone is filling up airspace, such as political pundits, sports radio shows, and athletes being interviewed.  A big thanks to Guy Moody for spotting this subtle one.

The swallows are coming home to roost

The speaker was talking about a group of people getting what they deserved based on their actions.  It is a conflation of “chickens coming home to roost” (facing the consequences of your actions) and the song “When the swallows come back to Capistrano”.  This one reminds me of one of my favorite malaphors that I previously posted and which appears in my book, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”:

Alabama State Representative John Rogers, in response to questions about his protests outside a hospital that is about to be closed, said “We’ll be here until the cows come home from Capistrano”.  Here’s the link:

Those swallows (or cows or chickens) from Capistrano sure get around.  A big thanks to John Kooser for hearing this one.

It sticks under my skin

Noah Rothman uttered this nice malaphor on the MSNBC show, “Morning Joe”, on March 21.  He was referring to Trump’s comments about McCain and Obamacare.  It is a congruent conflation (two idioms mixed with the same meaning) of “sticks in (one’s) craw” and “gets under (someone’s) skin”, both referring to something that is irritating or bothersome to someone.

So what’s a craw?

A craw is the crop of a bird or insect, the transferred sense of the word to refer to a person’s gullet (Free Dictionary).  Perhaps Mr. Rothman is a Frank Sinatra fan, thinking of the song “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”.  A big thanks to Frank King for hearing this one!

Two things caught my eyebrow this week

This was spotted on a facebook post.  Sounds painful.  It’s a nice mashup of “caught (one’s) eye (attention)” (attract one’s attention) and “raised a few eyebrows” (to elicit shock or surprise through unconventional actions or words).  Both idioms involve the eye, and both involve getting one’s attention.   I’m surprised that, considering the times we live in, there were only two things… A big thanks to Yvonne Stam for noticing this one and sending it in.

Kicking up the daisies

This was noticed on a tweet concerning people who don’t donate their organs when they die.  Here is the tweet:

It is a wonderful congruent conflation of “pushing up daisies” and “kick the bucket”, both phrases meaning to be dead.  The writer may have had the band “Kicking Daisies” in her mind when she wrote the mashup.  A big thanks to bittenbyfrost for noticing this one and sending it in.