It’s like throwing a wrench in a china shop

This one was heard on a podcast discussing the volatile nature of today’s political environment.  It is a conflation of “throw a (monkey) wrench in(to) the works” (to disrupt or cause problems) and “like a bull in a china shop” (to be aggressive or clumsy in a situation that requires care and delicacy).  As the submitter says, both phrases cause chaos.  Certainly throwing a wrench in a china shop will cause damage much like that of a bull.  A tip of the hat to Verbatim for hearing this one and sharing it.

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The covid-19 thing has really thrown a wrench in us sideways

This one comes from the Washington Post.  It is a mashup of “throw a (monkey) wrench in the works” (to do something that prevents a plan from succeeding) and “knock (someone) sideways” (to upset, confuse, or shock).  Maybe “thrown (someone) for a loop” (to confuse or shock) is also in the mix.  The expression “throw a (monkey) wrench in the works” seems to be garbled a lot.  I have posted several malaphors involving the expression, including “throw another kink in the fire”, “a wrench had been thrown in the bucket”, and “he really threw a monkey wrench into that fire”. https://malaphors.com/2017/11/01/throw-another-kink-in-the-wrench/, https://malaphors.com/2016/10/04/a-wrench-had-been-thrown-into-the-bucket/, https://malaphors.com/2013/02/08/he-really-threw-a-monkey-wrench-into-that-fire/

Here’s the cite:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/03/26/it-was-worst-week-economy-decades-pain-is-just-beginning/

A tip of the hat to Barry Eigen who spotted this timely malaphor.