Martin Pietrucha, loyal malaphor follower, unintentionally uttered this one the other night while talking with his kids. It is a mashup of “sour grapes” (someone is angry or bitter because he has not gotten something that he wants) and “a bitter pill to swallow” (an unwanted situation that someone is forced to accept). “Sour” and “bitter” seem to be the culprits here, both are two of the five basic tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami). Also one swallows grapes as well as pills. A big thanks to Martin for sending this one in.
Helene Cooper, reporter for the New York Times, speaking about Joe Biden, uttered this nice one on Meet the Press. It’s an incongruent conflation of “the odds are in (someone’s) favor” (someone is likely to win) and “the deck (or cards) is stacked against (someone)” Ms. Cooper is a regular on this site, having uttered more than a few malaphors. A big thanks to Robert J. Smith for hearing this one and passing it on.
While I posted this one way back in 2012, it bears repeating as I think it is one of the purest congruent conflations out there, and a common one as well. The speaker was talking about her lack of sleep the previous night but that her husband slept soundly, describing him as being out like a log. This is a congruent conflation of “slept like a log” and “out like a light”, both referring to sound sleep. There are a lot of the letter L in both expressions, contributing to the mix up. A big thanks to Donna Calvert for sending this one in. Glad to hear Bill is sleeping well in retirement.
This malaphor was tweeted by former NFL player Brian Dawkins (safety for the Philadelphia Eagles):
This was heard at an administrative hearing. The speaker was talking about work that he was currently performing. It is a congruent conflation of “off the books” and “under the table”, both meaning to do something in secret so that taxes won’t be paid. Then again, maybe the speaker works in the basement of a library. A follow up question hopefully was made. A big thanks to John Costello for hearing this one.
If you liked this one, check out my book on malaphors, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”, available underneath on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692652205
This one was overheard in a conversation between a lawyer and the judge in a court proceeding. This is a nice congruent conflation of “a second bite of the apple” and “cracks at the bat”, both meaning additional opportunities. “Take a crack at (something)” (an attempt) is probably also in the mix. Perhaps the speaker was thinking of William Tell or maybe a pinata party. Kudos to Matin Pietrucha who heard this one and sent it in.