Trump will do anything to avoid that rock being peeled back

This gem was uttered by Donny Deutsch, American ad executive and television personality, on “Morning Joe”.  He was referring to potential documents by Trump’s personal lawyer that could reveal past business dealings.  It is a congruent conflation of “rock being turned over” and “onion being peeled back”, both meaning to uncover something that is concealed.  This was uttered around Easter, so perhaps Mr. Deutsch had the resurrection image in his mind.  Certainly the similar phrases “peeling back” and turning over” added to the confusion.  A big thanks to Mike Kovacs for hearing this and sending it in.

trillion dollar deficits as long as the eye can see

This subtle mashup was uttered by Jim VandeHei, CEO of Axios, on the Morning Joe show.  It is a conflation of “as far as the eye can see” (extending to the farthest possible point) and “as long as” (considering the fact as).  A big thanks to Frank King, frequent malaphor contributor, for hearing this one.

Who is the person who can get this ship back on track?

This one was uttered by Mika Brzezinski on the MSNBC talk show, “Morning Joe”.  She was talking about the Trump Presidency.  It is a nice congruent conflation of “right the ship” and “get back on track”, both meaning to get something back on schedule or to return to normal.  A big thanks to Susan Kestner for hearing this one and sending it on!

There is not enough respect shown to ordinary people busting their necks

This beauty was uttered by Vice President Joe Biden on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.  He was talking about both parties  and noting that they were not very good “at listening to the concerns of ordinary people busting their necks.”

This is a nice congruent conflation of “busting their butts” and “breaking their necks”, both meaning to work very hard.  The confusion not only stems from the similar meanings of both phrases but also the words “bust” and “break”.  In addition, as noted here many times, body parts are often mixed up in the wonderful world of malaphors.  A big thanks to Linda Bernstein for catching this in the NY Times and passing it on!

Did you like this one?  Well, I have an entire section devoted to malaphors spoken by politicians in my new book He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors!  And malaphors are not partial to one political party.  Read great ones uttered by Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and more!!!  Get it on Amazon now at!

joe biden


I want to hold my powder

This malaphor was spoken by Congressman Paul Ryan (R – Wis) during his appearance on Morning Joe when asked for his “prebuttal” on Obama’s forthcoming budget.   It is a mash up of “hold one’s fire” (refrain from criticism) and “keep one’s powder dry” (ready to take action if necessary).   To “hold one’s tongue” also might be in the mix as it has a similar meaning and fits in the context.  Or maybe Rep. ryan is changing his mind on the current gun legislation proposals?   Many thanks to Mike Kovacs for spotting this one.

Official portrait of Congressman .

Official portrait of Congressman . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)