This great mashup was uttered on the Morning Joe show by Dr. Rick Bright, the immunologist who is now part of the Biden coronavirus task force. He was talking about the Trump administration’s refusal to work with the Biden task force. It is a conflation of “at arm’s length” (a person or organization purposely not connected so as not to influence one another) and “at a snail’s pace” (very slowly). This malaphor really describes the speaker’s meaning as it conveys the Trump administration not only moving slowly but not conveying any information. A big thanks to Sam Edelmann for hearing this one and passing it on!
Willie Geist on MSNBC’s Morning Joe said this one, discussing Lev Parnas’ statements to Rachel Maddow. It is a nice congruent conflation of “coming out of left field” and ” made out of whole cloth”, both meaning something utterly false or fictional. “Out of” is in both phrases, contributing to the mixup. A tip of the hat to Donna Calvert who heard this one and immediately contacted Malaphor Central.
Nicole Wallace on Morning Joe uttered this nice malaphor. It is a mashup of “bull in a china shop” (one who is aggressive and clumsy in a situation that requires care and delicacy) and “the elephant in the room” (an obvious truth or fact that is being intentionally ignored or left unaddressed). Not sure what would cause more damage in a china shop – a bull or an elephant? By the way, elephants are a common source of malaphors: just type the word “elephant” in the search engine on my website and you will find a treasure trove of elephant malaphors. a big thanks to Donna Calvert for hearing this one and passing it on.
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Noah Rothman uttered this nice malaphor on the MSNBC show, “Morning Joe”, on March 21. He was referring to Trump’s comments about McCain and Obamacare. It is a congruent conflation (two idioms mixed with the same meaning) of “sticks in (one’s) craw” and “gets under (someone’s) skin”, both referring to something that is irritating or bothersome to someone.
So what’s a craw?
A craw is the crop of a bird or insect, the transferred sense of the word to refer to a person’s gullet (Free Dictionary). Perhaps Mr. Rothman is a Frank Sinatra fan, thinking of the song “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”. A big thanks to Frank King for hearing this one!
William Weld, former Massachusetts governor, uttered this one on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, when he introduced the topic of climate change. This is a mashup of “not one’s cup of tea” (not one’s preference) and maybe “dish it out” (to dispense something, often verbally)? Or was the speaker just thinking of “cup and saucer” and got the two confused? No one knows except Mr. Weld, and perhaps he doesn’t either. On that note, I think I’ll have a “disha”. A big thanks to two people who heard this one and sent it in almost simultaneously: David Stephens and Donna Calvert. Thanks David and Donna!
No, this was not said in an erectile dysfunction commercial, but rather by Heidi Przybyla on MSNBC’s Morning Joe the other day. She was talking about the Mueller investigation. It is a congruent conflation of “petering out” and “winding down”, both meaning to slowly come to a conclusion or end. Another tip of the hat to Frank King for spotting this one. He has the ears of a hawk.
Heard on Morning Joe by Joe himself. It is a mashup of “put too fine a point on it” (to belabor or exaggerate the importance of some point or detail), and “paint (something) with a broad brush” (describe something in general or vague terms). Brushes can indeed be fine, hence the mixup. A big thanks to Frank King for spotting yet another malaphor in the wilds of MSNBC.
This terrific mashup was spoken by Joe Scarborough on his show, “Morning Joe”, on July 17, 2018. It is a conflation of “a page out of (someone’s) playbook” (to behave or act like someone else) and “in (someone’s) pocket” (under someone’s direct control or influence). This mix up has its own unique connotation: someone who is directed by someone else and is following that person’s command or orders. A big thanks to James Kozlowski for hearing this one and sending it in.
This was heard on Morning Joe on May 17, uttered by Mika Brzezinski discussing the missing SARS reports and Ronan Farrow’s story. It is a nice mashup of “on my radar (screen)” (considered important) and “has my antenna up” (curiosity or interest). “Have my back (or dander) up” (get someone angry) might also be in the mix, but I doubt it considering the context (although the whole Cohen affair might be ticking her off). A big thanks to that Malaphor Extraordinaire, Frank King, for hearing this one. He certainly has the ears of a hawk.