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Sitting behind the driver’s seat

This one has to be read in context.  On the December 10, 2018 “On Point” NPR podcast, a person was discussing self-driving cars.  “I felt safer sitting in the back seat of that driver-less vehicle than I did sitting behind the driver’s seat of my own car’.  https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510053/on-point

This is a mashup of “in the driver’s seat” and “behind the wheel”, both meaning to take charge. The speaker wasn’t thinking of either idiom, but was certainly confusing his words.  If you are in the back seat of one car, how is that different than being behind the driver’s seat of the other car?  A big thanks to Alan “Moose” Richardson for hearing this one.

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Beat the iron while it’s hot

This beauty comes from a video tutorial on Getting Google Reviews.  It is a nice mashup of “strike while the iron is hot”  (to make most of an opportunity or favorable conditions while one has the chance to do so) and “beat (someone) to the punch” (to do something before someone else does).  Both idioms involve doing something early.  A big thanks to Frank King for seeing this one and passing it on.  Shout out to The Ranking Academy for giving us this blooper.  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCopSeO4OPWd5M9zzPhA6qpg

 


He’s a wild cannon

This was heard in a court proceeding.  It is a congruent conflation of “wild card” and “loose cannon”, both describing someone or something as unpredictable.  A big thanks to Sam Edelmann who heard this one and passed it on.

We will be able to put all the dots in a row

Jackie Speier (D-CA) uttered this nice malaphor on the All In with Chris Hayes show on MSNBC (11/28/18).  Here is the context:  “and I have no doubt in my mind that we will at some point, when the Mueller investigation is over, be able to put all the dots in a row and draw a line through them.”  This is a congruent conflation of “get your ducks in a row” (organize your affairs) and “connect the dots” (to understand something by piecing together bits of information).  “Dots” and “ducks” sound alike and the idea of connecting dots is similar to a row.  A big thanks to Mike Kovacs for hearing this one.


Don’t chew with your mouth full

Did your mother ever tell you this?  Well, the submitter’s mom did, and it is a nice conflation of the admonitions  “don’t chew with your mouth open” and “don’t talk with your mouth full”.  The corollary of course is “don’t talk with your mouth open”, advice many should follow.  A big thanks to Timothy Kendall for sharing this one.


Boiled to a head

This one comes from the sports world.  Here’s the full context: “Sunday’s Bills-Jaguars game started off tense when Jalen Ramsey took time from his busy day to remind Buffalo’s players they were trash. That conflict boiled to a head in the third quarter when a brawl erupted on the turf at New Era Field.”   Here’s the citation: https://www.sbnation.com/2018/11/25/18111422/jaguars-bills-fight-leonard-fournette-shaq-lawson.

This is a nice conflation of “boiled over” (to become extremely intense or out of control) and “come to a head” (to reach a point of intensity at which action must be taken).  “Come to a boil” (to reach a crucial point) is also probably in the mix considering the context.  A boil on the skin has a “head” of sorts and so could have been in the writer’s mind.  A big thanks to Barry Eigen for spotting this one!


You can look it up in your Strunk and Wagnalls

Not quite Rowan and Martin. The submitter’s wife uttered this nice word blend, which is a conflation of “Funk and Wagnalls” (dictionary/encyclopedia) and “Strunk and White” (American English writing style guide).  The Funk/Strunk rhyming is obviously the culprit here.  A big thanks to Martin Pietrucha for hearing this one and sending it in.

If you want to look up “malaphors”, purchase the malaphor book, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”, on Amazon.  Makes a great stocking stuffer (or fire starter).