Put a little elbow sweat into it

The speaker’s daughter was brushing the cat very lightly.  Wanting to get more fur off since the cat was shedding, the speaker uttered this nice malaphor.  It is a congruent conflation of “elbow grease” and “break a sweat”, both meaning to put forth a large effort or amount of energy to complete a task.  “Work up a sweat” might also be in the mix as it also means to exert a lot of energy to complete a task.  This one reminds me of one of my favorites: “Let’s roll up our elbows and get to work”. https://malaphors.com/2012/07/30/lets-roll-up-our-elbows-and-get-to-work/

A tip of the hat to John Kooser who realized he had uttered the malaphor, and then promptly sent it in.


Equal playing field

Former Congresswoman Katie Hill, who resigned after sex scandal involving her ex-husband, uttered this nice subtle malaphor on the MSNBC show “All In” (Ali Velshi was subbing that night).  it is a congruent conflation of “level playing field” and “equal footing”, both meaning to describe a situation where everyone gets the same opportunity.  Interestingly, Equal Playing Field is the name of a non-profit organization for women athletes.  https://www.facebook.com/equalplayingfield/?ref=page_internal
A big thanks once again to Frank King for hearing this one.

They’re going to leave it all on the table; they’re going to put it all on the court.

This is a rare double malaphor spoken by Van Jones on the Anderson Cooper show 360 degrees.  Here is the excerpt from the CNN transcript:

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I mean, I think they’re going to leave it all on the table. They’re going to put it all on the court. Look, I think if you are Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, to sit here — I mean, if you think we feel heartbroken, terrified and just, you know, miserable about what’s going on, imagine how they feel.

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/2008/16/acd.02.html

The first malaphor, “leave it all on the table”, is a congruent conflation of “leave it all on the field” and “leave nothing on the table”, both meaning to give something 100% or everything you have. The second, “put it all on the court”, is a mashup of “leave it all on the court” (give something 100%) and put it all on the line” (risk everything for something).  Mixing sports idioms with politics is a risky business, and Mr. Jones realized he had uttered a malaphor, but his quick attempt made him step into malaphor doo doo once more.  This unicorn was spotted by Bruce Ryan, and for that he is now elevated into the Malaphor Hall of Fame.  @VanJones68

Did you enjoy this political malaphor?  If so, you will LOVE my new book, “Things Are Not Rosy-Dory:  Malaphors from Politicians and Pundits”, available NOW on Amazon.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08C7GGMG5?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860  Makes a great stocking stuffer!


The little voice on my shoulder

This one was spoken on the show Paranormal Emergency (Season 1, Episode 9).  Here is the clip:

 

This is a congruent conflation of “little voice in my head” and “angel on my shoulder”, both describing one’s conscience.  A shout out to Mike Kovacs who heard this one and shared it.


Broaden the tent

This subtle mixup was uttered on Steve Hilton’s show on Fox by The Mooch, Anthony Scaramucci, when discussing the current demographic base of the Republican Party.   https://www.foxnews.com/us/hilton-scaramucci-clash-over-presidential-politics-best-candidate

It is a congruent conflation of “broaden the base” and “make a bigger tent”, both meaning a group or movement that encompasses the broadest and most diverse members possible.  A big thanks to Frank King who sent this one in.

 


I know where the skeletons are buried

This perfectly formed malaphor is found in the foreward to Michael Cohen’s soon to be released tell all book, “Disloyal”.  Here is the context:

“Trump has no true friends. He has lived his entire life avoiding and evading taking responsibility for his actions. He crushed or cheated all who stood in his way, but I know where the skeletons are buried because I was the one who buried them.”  https://www.foxnews.com/politics/michael-cohen-trump-disloyal-skeletons

This is a conflation of “know where (all) the bodies are buried” (to know secret or scandalous information about a person or group) and “have skeletons in (one’s) the closet” (to have damaging or incriminating secrets from one’s past).  Both idioms involve secrets and damaging information, and both involve dead bodies, hence the mixup.  This mashup is actually brilliant in that it incorporates damaging information and where to get the damaging information all in one terrific malaphor.

A big thanks to Mike Kovacs, Chief Malaphor Hunter, for spotting this one in plain sight.  Bravo.


$600 a week for Mitch McConnell is not a red line in the sand

This nice congruent conflation of “red line” and “line in the sand”, both meaning the furthest limit of what will be tolerated, was uttered by Kasie Hunt on MSNBC last week (Craig Melvin hosting).  “Line” appears in both idioms, which is probably the root of the confusion.  Ms. Hunt is probably too young to remember the song, “Red Sails in the Sunset”, so it probably does not enter the mix.  A big thanks to Frank King for hearing this one and sending it in.

If you liked this political pundit malaphor, you will LOVE my new book, “Things Are Not Rosy-Dory:  Malaphors From Politicians and Pundits”, available now on Amazon!  Here is the link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08C7GGMG5?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860


It’s like throwing a wrench in a china shop

This one was heard on a podcast discussing the volatile nature of today’s political environment.  It is a conflation of “throw a (monkey) wrench in(to) the works” (to disrupt or cause problems) and “like a bull in a china shop” (to be aggressive or clumsy in a situation that requires care and delicacy).  As the submitter says, both phrases cause chaos.  Certainly throwing a wrench in a china shop will cause damage much like that of a bull.  A tip of the hat to Verbatim for hearing this one and sharing it.

Did you enjoy this malaphor?  If so, check out my new book, “Things Are Not Rosy-Dory:  Malaphors From Politicians and Pundits, available on Amazon today!  Here’s the link:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08C7GGMG5?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860


I don’t have any horse in the game

Was Dr. Fauci thinking of the America song, “Horse with No Name?”  I don’t know, but this was uttered by Dr. Fauci at a Congressional hearing held this week.  It is a perfectly formed congruent conflation of “no skin in the game” and “no horse in this race”, both expressions meaning when one is not invested in the outcome.  A race is a game so this seems to be the reason for the mixup.  Also, horseshoes is a game so that might have been on the speaker’s mind.  But I would like to think he had an America ear worm that day and could not get the song out of his head.  A big, big thanks to Steve Grieme, Yvonne Stam, and Rozsa Harris for all hearing this one and sending it in within hours of each other.  A malaphor tidal wave.