This was overheard in a discussion about Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. The speaker was saying that while Tonya may have known of the planned attack, she didn’t think she could “pull it through”. This is a mashup of “pull it off” and “go through with it”, both meaning to be able to accomplish something. A big thanks to John Kooser who heard this one and passed it on.
In the continuing series on malaphors describing those who are not very intelligent, I give you this “three way malaphor”. It is a tri-mashup of “not the sharpest tool in the shed” and “not the brightest bulb in the chandelier”, both describing someone who is not very smart, combined with “not the only fish in the sea” (plenty of other suitable persons). I have posted multiple variations of this subject in the past, including “not the brightest knife in the drawer”, “not the brightest bulb in the shed”, and “not the sharpest bulb in the shed”. It just shows that we may want to look in the mirror every once in awhile. A big thanks to Kimberly Gorgichuk for hearing this one and passing it on.
This one is from a tweet posted by Orlando Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell. A reader wrote to him:
“Back when I was a pre-K teacher, I was also a responsible gun-owner. Never had a shooting, but if I had, I couldn’t have managed 20 kids AND a gun. The two hats should never cross.”
This is a mashup of “wearing two hats” (to hold or function in one position or role) and “crossing paths” (to meet someone by chance and not by choice). A tip of the hat to Tom Justice for seeing this one and sending it in.
This jumble was spoken by someone who was relating that she had no been motivated in the past but was now ready to move forward. It is a mashup of “on the back burner” (postponed or suspended) and “take a back seat” (occupy an inferior position; allow another to be in control). Both idioms contain the word “back”, causing I suspect the confusion. Not sure I have left my motivation on the back seat of the car, but certainly my wallet and sunglasses. A big thanks to Lynn Hannula Johnson for hearing this one and sending it in.
Had to post this congruent conflation immediately, as it was said last night by former Trump aide Sam Nunberg on in an MSNBC interview. Given the context, Nunberg mixed “give me a break”, and “are you kidding me?”, both scoffling retorts to something that seems unbelievable or ridiculous.“Are you giving me a break?” Spin.com calls it a “Borat-esque phrase”, but you and I know it to be a beautifully constructed malaphor. https://www.spin.com/2018/03/ex-trump-aide-sam-nunberg-was-unhinged-long-before-todays-meltdown/
A big thanks to Frank King for hearing this one and passing it on.
If you liked this jumble, take a break and pick up my book on malaphors, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”, available on Amazon! Just click here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692652205