The world is going to shit in a handcart

This colorful malaphor was uttered by someone referring to the Trump presidency.  It is a nice congruent conflation of “gone to shit” and “going to hell in a handbasket (or handcart)” both meaning a person or system is in a bad state and getting worse.  This malaphor is very similar to a previous one posted, “the project is going to pot in a handbasket” (9/15/02).    A big thanks to Kerry Reynolds for hearing this one and passing it on.


Crazy as a three dollar bill

This one was uttered by J.C. Watts on the MTP (Meet the Press) Daily show on MSNBC.  It is a nice mash up of “crazy as a loon” (insane) and “phony (or queer) as a three dollar bill” (bogus).

I suppose a three dollar bill is pretty crazy, but those loons definitely are the craziest.  Of course, pileated woodpeckers sound daffy as well.  A big thanks to Chief Malaphor Hunter (CMH) Mike Kovacs for hearing this one and immediately recording it.


Trump has been under a lot of heat

This timely malaphor was uttered by Joy Reid on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show.  She was talking about Trump’s remarks about police not being so careful when loading suspects into the Paddy Wagon.  It is a congruent conflation of “under a lot of stress” and “feeling the heat”, both meaning feeling pressure.  A big thanks to the comedian Frank King for hearing this one!

They’re walking on pins and needles

This nice malaphor was uttered by Robert Costa, national political reporter for the Washington Post and host of PBS’ “Washington Week in Review”.   He made this comment when describing White House staffers’ relationships with Jared Kushner.  It is a mash up of “walking on eggshells” (to be very diplomatic and inoffensive) and “on pins and needles” (to be anxious or in suspense).  This mixed idiom reminds me of those folks walking on nails or hot coals.  Perhaps that’s the feeling if you work at the White House.  It also reminds me of one of “The Master”s best efforts, describing a group of anxious federal employees: “they’re sitting on their hands and needles”.   A big thanks to Mike Kovacs, the “24/7 malaphor hunter”.

It popped eyebrows

Chris Cuomo on CNN made this comment regarding a controversial statement.  It is a nice mash up of “raised eyebrows”  (something causing concern or surprise) and “eye-popping” (something astonishing).   Perhaps Groucho Marx was on the speaker’s mind at the time.  A tip of the hat to Ron MacDonald for hearing this one and sending it along.

No one believes it to be true from any stretch of fact

This one was spoken by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.  “It’s a bad attempt at a joke; that’s all there is to it,” Mr. McCarthy told reporters at the Capitol.  He was referring to his earlier statement that Trump may have been receiving payments from Putin.  You can read the entire context here in the New York Times article:
This is a mashup of “by no stretch of the imagination” (no possible or conceivable way) and “in fact” (in reality).   Of course, stretching facts seems to be in vogue these days.  Here at Malaphors Central we just report the facts, uh, tongue slips.  A big thanks to Jim Rectenwald for spotting this one!

Everybody takes it as whole cloth

This was uttered by President Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, at the May 9, 2017 press conference.  He was responding to a question about James Clapper’s testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee involving Russian interference in the last US Presidential election.  Here is what he said:

MR. SPICER:  Sure, I mean, in the sense that I’m not going to question.  But I think the interesting thing is on all the other issues that he testifies about everybody takes it as whole cloth, that if he says anything he must — he was the DNI.  So when you guys want him to speak for the entire 17 agencies, you sort of assume that that’s what he’s doing.

Considering the context, this is a mash up of “cut out of whole cloth”, meaning completely fictional or utterly false, and “takes (something) as gospel”, meaning believing something that is undeniably true.  Mr. Spicer switched these, and thought I guess that “whole cloth” means it’s true.  I wonder how he would describe some of the President’s tweets?  Interestingly, the phrase “cut out of whole cloth” is a reference to tailors who would falsely advertise garments being “cut out of whole cloth,” when in reality, they were pieced together from different cuts.  A big thanks to that Malaphor Man on the Street Mike Kovacs!