This was uttered by Michael Avenatti on the Lawrence O’Donnell MSNBC show when he was asked whether there will be any further disclosures regarding Michael Cohen. It is a mashup of “show (one’s) cards” (to make one’s plans or intentions known) and “empty (something) out” (to remove or pour all of the contents from something). Revealing and then emptying seems to be what he has done to date, so the malaphor makes sense. This is not the first malaphor uttered by Michael Avenatti. Check out some of his other great mashups, like “he folded like a cheap deck of cards”. A big thanks to Beatrice Zablocki for hearing this one. She’s a major contributor to this site. She’s the top of the notch!
This perfectly formed congruent conflation was uttered by Michael Avenatti on MSNBC (Lawrence O’Donnell). He was referring to Trump’s call to Fox and Friends. It is a mashup of “shoots from the hip” and “speaks off the cuff”, both meaning to speak spontaneously and frankly. “Shoots (one’s) mouth off” (to brag or tell secrets) may also have been in the mix, given the speaker and the subject matter. Interestingly, this is very similar to another malaphor posted previously, “(Trump) shoots from the cuff”, spoken by Megyn Kelly. https://malaphors.com/2015/09/05/trump-shoots-from-the-cuff/
This is one of many political malaphors. You can find many in my book “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”, available on Amazon. Just click here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692652205
A big thanks to Frank King who spotted another one. He is quickly becoming the Frank King of Malaphors.
I had to put this one at the head of the line. This gem was uttered by Michael Avenetti, Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, on MSNBC’s “The Beat”. He was referring to Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer. Here is the context:
“I think when push comes to shove he’s going to fold like a cheap deck of cards, I really do,” Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, told MSNBC’s “The Beat” on Monday night. https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/trump-s-attorney-michael-cohen-will-fold-cheap-deck-cards-n864241
This is a congruent conflation of “fold like a cheap suitcase” and “fall like a house of cards”, both meaning to collapse easily or a plan that is destined to fail. Regarding the “cheap suitcase” idiom, the Free Dictionary explains: “expensive luggage was made from well-constructed leather or fabric. Cheap ones used to be made of cardboard with little or no structural reinforcement, not very sturdy especially when manhandled by baggage handlers or hotel porters. You also hear “fold like a cheap suit”, but since fabric folds easily, whether it’s cashmere or polyester, “suitcase” presents a better connotation of a losing proposition.”
Mr. Avenatti’s is particularly sweet, as he combines the image of a cheap deck of cards with folding. A poker player with a losing hand would certainly fold but “like a cheap suitcase”, although I suppose there are cheap enough cards out there that bend easily. Casinos would not use them.
I think the mashup was also caused by the word “suit” in the proper idiom, with the speaker associating “suit” with “cards”. A big thanks to Jim Kozlowski for spotting this one first and sending it in. I had many people send it in as well, but Jim was the first so he gets the malaphor kudo.