Crazy as a three dollar bill

This one was uttered by J.C. Watts on the MTP (Meet the Press) Daily show on MSNBC.  It is a nice mash up of “crazy as a loon” (insane) and “phony (or queer) as a three dollar bill” (bogus).

I suppose a three dollar bill is pretty crazy, but those loons definitely are the craziest.  Of course, pileated woodpeckers sound daffy as well.  A big thanks to Chief Malaphor Hunter (CMH) Mike Kovacs for hearing this one and immediately recording it.



McCain beats to his own drum

Robert Traynham said this one on MSNBC discussing McCain’s vote on the health care bill.  It is a subtle mash up of “march to the beat of his own drum” and I think “he is his own man”, both meaning someone who does things that don’t conform to the standard or prevalent norm.  A shout out to Susie and Andy Wakshul for hearing this one.

Spiraling downhill

Is there such a thing as a dyslexic malaphor?  “Spiraling downhill” might be one.  It was said on MSNBC’s Greta Van Susteren’s show, referring to Trump’s leaking of classified information to the Russians in the Oval Office.  I believe it is a mashup of “spiraling down” and “going downhill”, both meaning something going out of control and getting worse.  There is also “downward spiral”, also meaning a situation getting worse.  If I keep thinking about this one, I will be spiraling downhill so my analysis now ends.  A tip of the hat to Mike Kovacs for hearing this one!


There’s a lot of mending bridges going on

This great malaphor was spoken by Jenna Johnson of the Washington Post on the t.v. show With All Due Respect, discussing the possibility of Romney becoming Secretary of State.  It is a mash up of “building bridges” (to increase understanding between different people or groups) and “mending fences” (to repair relationships).  Interestingly, I ran across an article by the travel guy Rick Steves entitled “Mending Bridges in Mostar”, a wonderful story about the healing in a small town in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Here is the link:   I think it’s worth a read considering the turmoil between religions and cultures that exist throughout the world today.  A big thanks to Sam Edelmann who heard this one and passed it on!

Hillary Clinton is in the process of refudiating everything that Mr. Trump says

This nice word blend malaphor was uttered by Sean Jackson, chairman of the Florida Black Republican Caucus and Trump supporter, on MSNBC’s Hardball.  Mr. Jackson stated, “Hillary Clinton is in the process of refudiating everything that Mr. Trump says by trying to make him out to be the bigot.” See

This is a mash up of “repudiating” (rejecting the validity or authority) and “refuting” (proving or saying that something is not true).   Word blend malaphors are an interesting subset of idiom blend malaphors.  There are quite a few posted on this website.  A shout out to Sam Edelmann who heard this one and passed it on!

If you liked this malaphor from the political world, you will want to get the book “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”, available on Amazon!  There is a whole chapter devoted to mash ups from politics.


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!

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The man is a nut cake

On MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes” show last night, former New Hampshire Senator Gordon Humphrey (R-NH) said Trump is a “nut cake”.  This is a congruent conflation of “nutcase” and “nutty as a fruitcake”, both obviously meaning to be crazy or insane.  Here is an excerpt from the transcript, courtesy of Breitbart News (trying to stay apolitical here):

In the common parlance, the man is a nut cake, he is a looney bird. And it would be the height of irresponsibility to elevate him to the presidency. It would be recklessness to make him commander in chief. I’ve issued a call to members of the RNC this afternoon to demand an emergency meeting of the Republican National Committee to strip Donald Trump of the nomination and to replace him with someone of sound mind.

As followers know, malaphors are spoken by all, including Republicans and Democrats.  Who can forget Obama’s excellent “my opponent would like you to think I am green behind the ears when it comes to foreign policy”, or Hillary Clinton’s recent “the creme de la resistance”?  A big thanks to Sam Edelmann who heard this one and passed it on to Malaphor Central.

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