This was heard on Morning Joe on May 17, uttered by Mika Brzezinski discussing the missing SARS reports and Ronan Farrow’s story. It is a nice mashup of “on my radar (screen)” (considered important) and “has my antenna up” (curiosity or interest). “Have my back (or dander) up” (get someone angry) might also be in the mix, but I doubt it considering the context (although the whole Cohen affair might be ticking her off). A big thanks to that Malaphor Extraordinaire, Frank King, for hearing this one. He certainly has the ears of a hawk.
Rachel Maddow uttered this malaphor the other night, talking about Ronan Farrow’s latest scoop. It is a mashup of “get the scoop” (get the news) and “break the story” (the first to address an issue, usually news). Since “the scoop” is usually the news, this fractured saying makes some sense. It also has a little assonance to it, so to speak. Another thank you to Frank King for sharing this one.
‘The (new) Master” has spoken yet again. Chris Matthews uttered this mashup as he was discussing the Trump staffer who said about McCain, “he’s dying anyway”. This is a mix of the idioms “a fish rots from the head down” (when an organization fails, the chief executive is the root cause) and “top of the ladder (or food chain)” (the position of most importance). The “head” is certainly at the “top” of a person, which could have cause Mr. Matthew’s mental hiccup. This is one of many from his lips, so please loyal followers, watch Mr. Matthews with baited ears. A big thanks to Frank King for hearing this Matthewism and sending it in.
MSNBC chief global correspondent Bill Neely uttered this one. He was talking about the recent release of the U.S. prisoners in North Korea and said that the release had been “on the cards” for awhile as they were moved to a hotel before release. This is a congruent conflation of “in the cards” and “on deck”, both meaning certain or likely to happen next. The mental mashup origin is clear in this one: the speaker probably was thinking “deck” which led him to “cards” as in “deck of cards”. Also in the mix might have been “on the radar” (considered important or noteworthy) considering the context. A big thanks to Bruce Ryan for hearing this one and sending it in!
This was uttered by Michael Avenatti on the Lawrence O’Donnell MSNBC show when he was asked whether there will be any further disclosures regarding Michael Cohen. It is a mashup of “show (one’s) cards” (to make one’s plans or intentions known) and “empty (something) out” (to remove or pour all of the contents from something). Revealing and then emptying seems to be what he has done to date, so the malaphor makes sense. This is not the first malaphor uttered by Michael Avenatti. Check out some of his other great mashups, like “he folded like a cheap deck of cards”. A big thanks to Beatrice Zablocki for hearing this one. She’s a major contributor to this site. She’s the top of the notch!
This malaphor was uttered by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) on the MSNBC show The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell. It is a congruent conflation of “come clean” and “be straight” (be honest and straightforward). Kudos to that Malaphor Hunter Frank King, the Mental Health Comedian.