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He cleared muster

“The Master” strikes again.  Chris Matthews uttered this beauty on the Rachel Maddow show on July 9, 2018, referring to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.  It is a congruent conflation of “passed muster” and “cleared for approval”, both meaning to be accepted as adequate.  Pass/clear is the mixup here.  Anyone who visits this site regularly knows Mr. Matthews is a malaphor goldmine.   A big thanks to “Eagle-Ear” Frank King, the Mental Health Comedian, for hearing this one and sending it in.

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He’s keeping it under his vest

This was heard on the Rachel Maddow show.  Vanity Fair reporter Emily Jane Fox was talking about Michael Cohen, and what he may have on Trump.  She then uttered this beauty.  It is a congruent conflation of “close to the chest” and “under wraps” (to keep one’s plans secret from others).  The vest/chest rhyme and close/under words probably contributed to the mix up.  A big thanks to “Eagle-Ear” Frank King for hearing yet another one on MSNBC, your malaphor channel.


Narc out

Another gem from Rachel Maddow, the “Mistress of Malaphors”.   She uttered this on her Friday, June 8, 2018 show, discussing the indictment of Konstantin Kilimnik and his past relations with the International Republican Institute:

Well, now those new felony charges today have been filed. Instead of
facing 23 felony charges, Paul Manafort, the Trump campaign chairman, is
now facing 25 felony charges. What ended up being the big surprise here
today is that Paul Manafort wasn`t just charged alone, the superseding
indictment wasn`t just for him, he was charged alongside Konstantin
Kilimnik, Kostya from the GRU, the guy who back in the day in Moscow was
suspected of narcing out this American pro-democracy outfit that the FSB
denounced as an enemy of the state after they somehow got a hold of the
internal workings of that organization.

http://www.msnbc.com/transcripts/rachel-maddow-show/2018-06-08

This is a congruent conflation of “narc on” and “rat out”, both meaning to give authorities information on a crime, or to inform on someone.  A big thanks to Frank King for hearing this one and sending it in.

 


He broke the scoop

Rachel Maddow uttered this malaphor the other night, talking about Ronan Farrow’s latest scoop.  It is a mashup of “get the scoop” (get the news) and “break the story” (the first to address an issue, usually news).  Since “the scoop” is usually the news, this fractured saying makes some sense.  It also has a little assonance to it, so to speak.  Another thank you to Frank King for sharing this one.


His job was running point for the White House

Rachel Maddow uttered this one the other night.  Referring to Ty Cobb, Trump’s lawyer who resigned, said, “His job was running point for the White House on the Trump Russia investigation.”  This is a mashup of the military expression “walk (or take) point” (to assume the first and most exposed position in a combat military formation) and “running interference” (to take actions to avoid or prevent certain problems).  As the submitter said, if you ran point, you’d out distance yourself from the other troops, which is a bad idea.  A big thanks to Frank King who heard this one and passed it on!


We are not out of the clear

This dandy conflation comes straight from the mouth of Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show.  She was discussing Russian interference in the U.S. Presidential election and explained that “we are not out of the clear”.  This is congruent conflation of “out of the woods” and “in the clear”, both meaning to be free from danger or suspicion of wrongdoing.  This malaphor was repeated by MSNBC on its twitter feed: Sen. Kamala Harris: “We’re not out of the clear in terms of 2018 election cycle” https://twitter.com/MSNBC/status/952057691974881280

Many followers caught this one, including Beatrice Zablocki, Sam Edelmann, and Frank King.  I guess this one was very clear.


The speech played a factor

This is a very subtle mashup.  Rachel Maddow (again) was referring to Dean Acheson’s speech and said it might have “played a factor” in leading to the Korean War.  This is a congruent conflation of “played a role (or part)”  and “is a factor in (or factored in)”, both meaning to have a specific involvement or participation in something.  Based on google hits, this is a very common malaphor.  Thanks again to Frank King for hearing this one and dropping me a line.

Talk shows (particularly political talk shows) are full of malaphors.  You can read more of them in my book, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”, available on Amazon.  Makes a great addition to any bathroom library!