Straight from the hip/Shoot from the shoulder

I am discussing these two malaphors together as they were uttered on the same topic and they are mashups of similar idioms.  The first, “straight from the hip”, was spoken on the Nicole Wallace show, Deadline: White House, during a discussion about Biden’s town hall and that he was speaking “straight from the hip”.  “Straight from the shoulder” (simple, direct, and forthright) is what the speaker meant to say, and this was mixed with  “shoot from the hip” (to speak rashly or recklessly).  The phrases are almost opposites, making this an excellent example of an incongruent conflation (unintentional blend of two or more idioms with opposite meanings).

The second malaphor, “shoot from the shoulder”, was uttered by Joe Biden at his town hall (and this is the phrase MSNBC had latched on in the malaphor above).  Herer is the quote:

“You’ve got to level with the American people — shoot from the shoulder. There’s not been a time they’ve not been able to step up. The president should step down,” the Democratic presidential nominee said to applause from a CNN drive-in town hall crowd Thursday night in Moosic, outside his hometown of Scranton.

https://apnews.com/ea71e7560724e2e5d46f224867ac4ebf

This is also a mashup of “straight from the shoulder” and “shoot from the hip”, another incongruent conflation.  Body parts and alliteration are all responsible for these mixups.  A big thank you to Bruce Ryan, Pamela Pankey, John Pekich, and Kathy Meinhardt for all spotting the malaphor.


(Trump) shoots from the cuff

Megyn Kelly was talking about Trump’s encounter with Jorge Ramos:

KELLY: When he got up there, you know, in his speech, he was talking about how he thinks they should ban Teleprompters for these politicians.  These presidential candidates which I think, you know, the President actually uses a teleprompter pretty much in most places he goes. But I don’t know that the candidates have been. But the point is, there is a realness to Donald Trump that is missing from so many of these other candidates. They do tend to sound rehearsed and stilted. He is never rehearsed. Obviously he shoots from the cuff and he says everything that comes to his mind which has gotten him in some trouble but I think helps him more than it hurts him. And people are very much connecting to that.

I have posted this malaphor earlier (see March 2014 entry) but it bears repeating, considering the timeliness of this excellent mixed idiom.  Shoot from the cuff is a mash up of “shoot from the hip” and speaking “off the cuff”, both meaning to speak spontaneously and frankly.  (Also see “shoot from the lip” in my Politics section).  Thanks to Sandor Kovacs and Vicki Kovacs for both spotting this one!


I was going to shoot from the gut

This gem was said in reaction to helping a family friend, and the speaker wanted to be as spontaneous as possible.  It is a blend of two phrases, “shoot from the hip”, and “a gut reaction”, both relating to doing or saying something quickly, or immediately responding.  Of course, shooting from the gut also occurs after too much partying.  A big thank you to Nate Brogin for uttering this one and passing it on!


I’m shooting from the cuff

This is a wonderful malaphor involving the phrases “off- the- cuff” (speak spontaneously without rehearsal) and “shooting from the hip”  (speaking frankly).   Phil Jackson, in deciding to take over the New York Knicks, uttered this malaphor at the beginning of his acceptance speech.  Click on the link below and then click on the video in the link.. He says, in the opening sentence, that “I’m shooting from the cuff.”    Thanks to Martin Pietrucha for hearing this one and passing it on!

Phil Jackson shook hands with New York Knicks owner James Dolan, walked gingerly to the podium and comfortably lifted the microphones to fit his 6-foot-8 frame.

“I don’t have prepared remarks, as you can see,” Jackson said, practically bragging. “I’m shooting from the cuff.”

http://nyti.ms/1j3p3dw

Phil Jackson, the new president of the New York Knicks, answers questions during a news conference, Tuesday, March 18, 2014 in New York. Jackson, who won...