This gem was uttered by Congressman Jim Himes (D-CT) yesterday on Meet the Press, talking about the Trump impeachment inquiry. It is a mashup of “muddy the waters” (to make a situation less clear) and “gum up the works” (to interfere with the proper functioning of something). Both expressions refer to degrading something, and “works” and “waters” might have been jumbled by the phrase “water works”? A big shout out to Bruce Ryan who heard this one and passed it on. @jahimes @MeetThePress
You can hear this malaphor just about at the beginning of the video:
That’s right, a malaphor two-fer, from the lips of Jennifer Rubin, heard on MSNBC the other night. Here is what she said:
On Republicans, “how many points will the Dow have to drop to …get them off the stick?” This is a nice congruent conflation of “get on the stick” and “get off the dime”, both meaning to organize oneself and start preparing for something.
On Trump’s opponents, “he’s always thrived on chaos, …he thinks it puts his opponents on their back heel.” This is a mashup of “back on his heels” (to put into a state of unease or surprise) and “flat on (one’s) back” (lacking the strength to get up).
A big, big thanks to Frank King for hearing these gems and passing them on!
The Malaphorer in Chief, Donald Trump, uttered this beauty when he was discussing his idea to purchase Greenland. “It’s not number one on the burner, I can tell you that.” This is a congruent conflation of “not number one on the list” and “not on the front burner”, both meaning not a high priority. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/kudlow-says-white-house-is-looking-at-trying-to-buy-greenland/2019/08/18/ab367b6c-c1bb-11e9-b5e4-54aa56d5b7ce_story.html.
This one was heard by several loyal malaphor followers, including Barry Eigen, Donna Calvert, and Frank King. This Trump malaphor is not the first. Check my book out, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors” (available on Amazon) for more mashups from him. There are also many more on this blog. Search “Trump”.
This was uttered by Congressman Max Rose (D-NY) on MSNBC’s Morning Joe show. Rose was talking about efforts to pass gun legislation and he said, referring to Trump, “this President, I believe, has no inner core beliefs. He flows with the wind.” This is a congruent conflation of “goes with the flow” and “blows with the wind”, both meaning to act according to prevailing circumstances rather than a consistent plan. “Blow” rhymes with “flow” which could have contributed to the mashup. A shout out to Mike Kovacs for hearing this one and sending it in. Picture suggested by Mike!
Ayman Mohyeldin on MSNBC uttered this one when he was talking about Trey Gowdy and Republicans criticizing Democrats and Mueller’s testimony. It is a congruent conflation of “not holding back” and “not pulling any punches”, both meaning to act without restraint or limitations. The congruent conflation to me is the purest form of a malaphor. The speaker is thinking of the correct idiom but there are other idioms that mean the same thing swirling in the brain. A big thanks to Frank King for hearing this subtle but classic malaphor. @AymanM