The speaker was remarking that one of the strengths in her workplace was that her fellow workers are always rolling with the flow. This is a congruent conflation of “rolling with the punches” and “going with the flow”, both expressions meaning to be able to deal with a series of difficult situations. This malaphor is also the title of a nice Charlie Rich song, “Rollin’ with the Flow”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAQ96MAtGn8
A big thanks to Elly Pietrucha for sending this one in!
Paul Jackson, global head of asset allocation research at Invesco, was discussing investing amid the coronavirus crisis. “We’ll be walking a tightrope around coronavirus for some time.” This is a mashup of “walking a tightrope” (being extremely careful and precise) and “tiptoeing around” (avoiding confrontation). Here is the link: https://www.cnbc.com/video/2020/05/11/well-be-walking-tightrope-around-coronavirus-for-some-time-investor.html
A tip of the toque to Barry Eigen for spotting this one in the news wilds. And yes, Barry, I found a circular tightrope (sorta).
This was uttered by a driver who was being tailgated. It is a congruent conflation of “calm down” and “cool your jets”, both meaning to tell someone to relax or be less intense. In researching this one, I found out that “calm your tits” is another expression meaning to relax or be less intense, so perhaps the speaker was thinking of this one as well. Anyone know if that is an American or British expression? A big thanks to Martin Pietrucha who said this one and realized he had malaphored.
A father and daughter got into an argument about their calico cat, and whether her markings were splotches or patches. The daughter said her Dad was being trivial, and then uttered this malaphor. It is a congruent conflation of “splitting hairs” and “nitpicking” or “picking (something) apart”, all meaning to make small or overfine distinctions. Hope no one has trichotillomania. A shout out to a familiar name on this website, John Kooser (aka “the Dad”) for sending this one in.
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!
My recent post “Is Papi pulling your goat?” (https://malaphors.com/2020/04/27/is-papi-pulling-your-goat/) prompted malaphor follower Claire to write: “I always use the phrase ‘getting right up my goat’ which I think might be a malaphor.” Yes, Claire, this is a congruent conflation of “get (one’s) goat” and “be up (one’s) ass”, both meaning to irritate of annoy someone. This mixed idiom is an improvement over the other two, I think. Might also be a new yoga expression. A big thanks to Claire for sharing this one.
Patriots’ 2020 schedule released: Open vs. Dolphins at home; back-to-back games in Los Angeles in December
Speaking on NPR’s Marketplace, Christina Stembel, CEO of Farmgirl Flowers, said this one when she was referring to the difficulties being experienced by small businessess during the pandemic and associated business shutdowns. It is a mashup of “price on our head” (an amount of money offered as a reward for one’s capture) and “sitting on a ticking time bomb” (a situation that will eventually become dangerous if not addressed). Maybe the speaker was thinking about the Erie pizza bomber? Not sure, but a big thanks to Mike Kovacs for hearing this one!
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.