A participant on the television program “Say Yes to the Dress” was referring to her desire to raise her standards when selecting a wedding dress and said “push the bar”. This is a conflation of “push the envelope” (exceed the limits of what is normally done) and “raise the bar” (raise or exceed the standards of quality that are expected). It is close to a congruent conflation, as both idioms describe exceeding a standard. My guess is that the verbs “push” and “raise” caused the mental confusion.
A big thanks to Chief Malaphor Hunter (CMH) Mike Kovacs for submitting this one for a friend.
Speaking of exceeding quality standards, did you know the new book He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors received an A+ rating from the Society of Word Oddities (SWO)? Get yours today on Amazon!