We’re just shooting ourselves in the dark!

When discussing a problem that they had been trying to troubleshoot for a rather long time, the submitter’s  coworker exclaimed “At this point we’re just shooting ourselves in the dark!”  This is a mashup of “shooting yourself in the foot” (to damage or impede’s one’s own plans) and “a shot in the dark” (a guess or estimate).  The words “shoot” and “shot” are the culprits here.  As the submitter, Ian, says,  “Perhaps a bit darker than either taking shots in the dark or shooting ourselves in the feet, but it certainly got her point across.”  This one reminds me of one of my favorite malaphors posted on this site, “It’s a crap in the dark.”  https://malaphors.com/2012/12/26/its-a-crap-in-the-dark/.  Now that’s dark!

A big thanks to Ian for sharing this one.

There wasn’t a shot in hell I was losing

I had to post this one immediately as it is fresh from Rio. Michael Phelps was talking about his on his win in the 200m butterfly: ‘There wasn’t a shot in hell I was losing’ .  This is a mash up of “shot in the dark” (a wild guess or attempt) and “snowball’s chance in hell” (no chance at all).  Perhaps “shot to hell” (worn out or ruined) might have also been on the speaker’s mind as both words appear in the malaphor, but since it has very little to do with the context, I doubt it.  “A cold day in hell” (an impossible event) may also have been on Michael’s mind, as he clearly believed (and rightly so) that he was not going to be beaten in that event.  Here is the link to his interview:


A big thanks to Gerry Abbott for his keen ears in hearing this one and passing it on!

Enjoying the Olympics?  Pair those events with the malaphor book, He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors, where an entire chapter is devoted to sports malaphors just like the one above.  Check it out on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/dp/0692652205.

michael phelps

I’m going to take a wild stab in the dark

A double malaphor?  This beauty was said on a British show called “Tipping Point.” A contestant said “I’m going to take a wild stab in the dark.”  This is a triple conflation of “wild guess”, “take (or make) a stab”, and “a shot in the dark”, all meaning a guess with very little assurance of its accuracy.   Barry Eigen, who heard this, suggested that this was a double malaphor.  I did post “wild stab” (https://malaphors.com/2013/11/07/just-a-wild-stab/) in 2013, but this one does add “in the dark”, creating a double malaphor.  “A stab in the dark” is an accepted phrase, but adding the word “wild” to it makes it a juicy malaphor.  A big thanks to Barry Eigen for hearing his one in London town and passing it on!


It’s a crap in the dark

This is a mash up of “shot in the dark” (wild guess) and “a crap-shoot” (risky enterprise), resulting in a phrase obviously not intended.  This beauty was found in HomeRecording.com:

“This is just a crap in the dark, but have you tried disabling the drivers you don’t need in sonar?”