We have to take the punches as they come

This malaphor was spoken by Jeremy Roloff on Season 10, Episode 2 of the TLC program “Little People, Big World.” He was referring to the challenge of eventually taking control of the family pumpkin farm and business in the face of his parents’ divorce.  I believe this is a congruent conflation of “roll with the punches”  and “take it as it comes”, both meaning to adjust to difficult events as they happen.  This gem was caught by the Vice President of Malaphor Hunters (ViPMaH) Mike Kovacs.  Thanks ViPMaH!

jeremy roloff


I am going to take it by ear

This jumble was said by a friend’s daughter in response to a question as to when she would act on something.  It is a congruent conflation of “play it by ear”  and “take it as it comes”, both meaning to deal with a situation as it develops and without a plan.  The speaker might have been envisioning someone pulling another by the ear when she spoke.  “Take it on the chin” (receiving the full brunt of something) might also be in play, with chin and ears being body parts.  “Take it day by day” and/or “take it in stride” also might have been swirling around the brain.  A big thanks to Tina Kooser for hearing this one and John Kooser and Jody Compton for passing it along!