I’m walking on eggs and needles when he’s around

This descriptive malaphor was uttered by a housemate in college, referring to the submitter.  It is a nice mixture of “walking on eggshells” (to act with great care as to not upset anyone) and “on pins and needles” (anxious).  Both phrases involve anxiety or nervousness and also contain the preposition “on”, adding to the confusion.  Certainly the speaker was not “walking on sunshine”.  This malaphor reminds me of an oldie but goodie posted awhile ago about nervous employees waiting for a promotion announcement:  “They were sitting on their hands and needles.” https://malaphors.com/2012/08/27/sitting-on-their-hands-and-needles/  Also this one: https://malaphors.com/2017/07/03/theyre-walking-on-pins-and-needles/,  A shout out to Stanley Dubinsky who shared this one.


They’re walking on pins and needles

This nice malaphor was uttered by Robert Costa, national political reporter for the Washington Post and host of PBS’ “Washington Week in Review”.   He made this comment when describing White House staffers’ relationships with Jared Kushner.  It is a mash up of “walking on eggshells” (to be very diplomatic and inoffensive) and “on pins and needles” (to be anxious or in suspense).  This mixed idiom reminds me of those folks walking on nails or hot coals.  Perhaps that’s the feeling if you work at the White House.  It also reminds me of one of “The Master”s best efforts, describing a group of anxious federal employees: “they’re sitting on their hands and needles”.  https://malaphors.com/2012/08/27/sitting-on-their-hands-and-needles/   A big thanks to Mike Kovacs, the “24/7 malaphor hunter”.