I set the die that day

Sean Spicer​, during an interview with the BBC, regretted his poor performance in discussing the size of the Trump inauguration crowd ​on his first day as Press Secretary.  he then uttered this classic.  It is a mashup of “set the tone” (establish the manner in which something will be conducted) and “the die is cast” (a course of action is finalized).  My guess is that the speaker was thinking of die casting, the process used to produce metal parts.  Given the amount of lies from Mr. Spicer’s boss’s lips in the past two years, I think he definitely set the die.

“My Ol’ Pal” has a slightly different take.  She says: “When Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon, he was said to have stated “The die is cast,” meaning that he had decided the fate of Rome. Perhaps Sean Spicer was thinking that he had determined the future of the administration’s falsifications with his pronouncement about the size of the crowd at the inauguration.”  Indeed.  For the quote, see 3:55 mark at:   https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06fkvhp

A big thanks to David Barnes for hearing this one and sending it in.

Everybody takes it as whole cloth

This was uttered by President Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, at the May 9, 2017 press conference.  He was responding to a question about James Clapper’s testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee involving Russian interference in the last US Presidential election.  Here is what he said:

MR. SPICER:  Sure, I mean, in the sense that I’m not going to question.  But I think the interesting thing is on all the other issues that he testifies about everybody takes it as whole cloth, that if he says anything he must — he was the DNI.  So when you guys want him to speak for the entire 17 agencies, you sort of assume that that’s what he’s doing.


Considering the context, this is a mash up of “cut out of whole cloth”, meaning completely fictional or utterly false, and “takes (something) as gospel”, meaning believing something that is undeniably true.  Mr. Spicer switched these, and thought I guess that “whole cloth” means it’s true.  I wonder how he would describe some of the President’s tweets?  Interestingly, the phrase “cut out of whole cloth” is a reference to tailors who would falsely advertise garments being “cut out of whole cloth,” when in reality, they were pieced together from different cuts.  A big thanks to that Malaphor Man on the Street Mike Kovacs!

We didn’t want to just jam them out in a fire hose

This is another beauty from Sean Spicer, Trump’s Press Secretary.  At a news conference in response to a question about why President Trump has not undertaken all of the “day one” actions he had promised, Spicer replied that the administration did not want to “just jam them out in a fire hose.”

There is the dialogue: “Why not pursue all those on Day One, as he promised in a contract with the voters?”  Spicer said the Trump administration doesn’t want to “just jam them out in a fire hose.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-sheepish-sean-spicer-shows-a-trump-white-house-with-some-capacity-for-shame/2017/01/23/9d9729bc-e1bb-11e6-a547-5fb9411d332c_story.html?utm_term=.2eb7c89ac076

This is a mash up of “jam (something) down (someone’s) throat” (to compel someone to accept something) and  “drinking from a fire hose” (to be inundated by more of something than one is capable of handling).  A big thanks to David Barnes for catching this one and sending it in!



He would have been driven out of this town on a stake

Oh my.  This beauty was uttered by Sean Spicer, President-Elect Trump’s Press Secretary, talking on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos.  Here is the context:

“If my boss at the time, Reince Priebus, had gotten the debate questions, and handed them off, he would have been driven out of this town on a stake, and Donald Trump would have been vilified.”

This is a mash up of “run out of town on a rail” (punish someone by public condemnation or ridicule) and “burn someone at the stake” (to chastise or denounce someone severely).  “Head on a stake” might also be in the mix.

In case the Donald is reading, he should check out my “Politics” section on my website and in my book, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors” (available on Amazon!).  He will find malaphors uttered not only by himself but by other politicians, including Obama, McCain, and the unforgettable Herman Cain. @realDonaldTrump

I received this malaphor from two people at virtually the same time, a first on this website.  So kudos to John Pekich and Mike Kovacs for hearing this one on the Sunday talk news shows and sending it to yours truly!