Heard on the MSNBC show with Chris Hayes. This is a conflation of “scared stiff” (utterly terrified) and “worried sick” (very concerned about a person or situation). I have heard this one a lot. “Sick” and “stiff” are similar sounding words, contributing to the mashup. A big thanks to Frank King for hearing this one!
If you liked this one, check out my book on malaphors, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”. It’s available on Amazon for a cheap $7.99. Just click on the link – https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692652205
Heard on MSNBC by Matt Miller, a former spokesperson for the Justice Department. He was talking about Rudy Giuliani and his off the cuff (“shoots off the cuff?”) remarks in interviews. This is a triple congruent conflation of “off the top of one’s head”, “pluck (something) out of thin air”, and “pull (something) out of a hat”, all meaning a random thought. “Head” and “hat” get confused a lot and that’s what appears to have happened here. As you know, the usual thing pulled out of a hat is a rabbit. As “my ol’ pal” notes, tThe more usual metaphor nowadays is “pull things out of his ass” (making things up) which is probably closer to the meaning of what Matt Miller was trying to convey about Giuliani. For obvious reasons he probably substituted “head” for “ass” at the last second. Thus the birth of this malaphor.
This is a nice literary malaphor, uttered on the MSNBC show Hard Ball . It is a congruent conflation of Shakespeare’s “A rose by any other name” and Gertrude Stein’s sentence “a rose is a rose is a rose”, both interpreted as meaning things are what they are. A big thanks to Mike Kovacs for hearing this conflation of two famous lines in literature.
This was uttered by Elise Jordan on MSNBC, as she was describing Trump alone in the White House. It is a congruent conflation of “digging in” and “hunkering down”, both meaning to get started in working on something or alternatively to seek refuge in a particular place. A big thanks to Frank King for catching this one.
On the Ali Velshi MSNBC show, Matt Apuzzo was talking about General Flynn and that some believe the government tricked him. He then uttered this nice malaphor, which is a congruent conflation of “pull the wool over (one’s) eyes” and “pull one over on him”, both meaning to trick or deceive. The operative word here is “pull” which appears in each idiom. A big thanks to Hawk-eared Frank King for hearing this gem.
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.
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.