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Trump is hunkering in

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.

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The government pulled the wool over him

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.


We will be able to put all the dots in a row

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.


It’s petering down

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.


The President is using his bully pit to create questions on our elections

This gem was uttered by Maria Teresa Kumar on MSNBC’s Last Word on November 12, 2018.  Is it a malaphor?  I think it is a malaphor word blend of “bully pulpit” (a public position that allows a person to share his views with a large audience) and “pit bull” (an aggressive and tenacious person).  The latter defines the subject and the former was the intended idiom to be used.  A big thank you to James Kozlowski for hearing this one and sharing it.


Not to put too fine a brush on it

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.


She was threading that line in the Trump Administration

Kathleen Parker from the Washington Post uttered this one on MSNBC (the malaphor channel), talking about Nikki Haley.  It is a conflation of “toeing the line” (adhering to the rules of something) and “threading the needle” (pass something through a narrow space between two things).  Both idioms make sense in context, and perhaps Ms. Parker’s malaphor is really an economical way of expressing two ideas at once.  A big thanks to Jim Kozlowski for hearing this one and passing it on.