The contributor says her husband says this when she doesn’t feel like cooking for dinner. The malaphor prompts a visual of the family opening the refrigerator and fighting for the best leftovers. This is a mashup of “stand on one’s (own) two feet” (act independently) and “fend for (oneself)” (take care of oneself without the assistance of others). I suppose the speaker was thinking of the word “fend” but uttered “defend” instead. A tip of the hat to Lori Snider for sending this one in!
This is an example of a perfectly formed malaphor. It is a congruent conflation (the best kind of malaphor, imho) of “smart as a whip” and “sharp as a tack”, both describing someone as highly intelligent. Smart and sharp are similar sounding words, and both idioms contain the “as a” words. Also, if you sit on a tack, it does smart, doesn’t it? The mashup is also heard in the Adam Sandler movie, “Big Daddy”. Here’s the clip:
A big thanks to Martin Pietrucha who heard this one and sent it in.
While I have posted this one before (https://malaphors.com/2014/03/16/thats-just-peachy-dory/), it bears repeating as President Trump said it a few days ago. Let’s go to the transcript:
THE PRESIDENT: Well, the news incorrectly reported. Because I said, well, if we go back and everything is peachy- dory, and you say, “We’ll talk over 30 days,” at the end of 30 days, are you going to give us great border security, which includes a wall or a steel barrier.
This is a mash up of the expressions peachy keen and hunky-dory, both meaning fine or satisfactory. This seems to be a fairly common malaphor, based on internet hits. Now hunky keen is a different matter….Several of you caught this one, including Steve Grieme and Mike Kovacs, both expert malaphor hunters.
Another from sports talk radio. Andrew Fillipponi from 93.7 The Fan (a Pittsburgh sports talk radio show) was talking about Steelers coach Mike Tomlin’s lack of anger and passion at his press conference after the loss to the New Orleans Saints. It is a sweet mashup of “fire and brimstone” (intense speech filled with emotion and anger) and “piss and vinegar” (having an abundance or excessive amount of rowdiness or enthusiasm). Maybe the speaker didn’t want to say “piss” on the air, but he could then have substituted “spit” as “spit and vinegar” has the same meaning. The contributor of this nice malaphor wanted to remain anonymous so I respect his/her wishes.
Joe Theismann, the ex-Redskins quarterback, was discussing the 2018 Redskins on a local D.C. sports talk radio show and in particular the average wide receiver corps. This is a mash up of “more (something) than you can shake a stick at” (a very large number) and “nothing to write home about” (not especially remarkable or noteworthy). This is an interesting one as the two idioms have almost opposite meanings – a perfect example of an incongruent conflation. Maybe Joe was thinking of an earthquake with homes shaking when he uttered this one. A big thanks to Joe Welch who heard this one and sent it in.
This was uttered by Elise Jordan on MSNBC, as she was describing Trump alone in the White House. It is a congruent conflation of “digging in” and “hunkering down”, both meaning to get started in working on something or alternatively to seek refuge in a particular place. A big thanks to Frank King for catching this one.