They are trying to rattle his tree

This terrific malaphor was uttered both by former Senator Robert Torricelli and by Stephanie Ruhle on MSNBC last week (1/24 at 9:11 am to be exact).  They were both talking about the many interviews in Trump’s inner circle by the Mueller team and that those interviews are trying to rattle Trump’s tree.  This is a congruent conflation of “shake (someone’s) tree” and”rattle (someone’s) cage”, both meaning to purposefully unnerve or upset someone.  The speakers might have been thinking of the song “Shake, Rattle, and Roll” when they burped up this one.  Or perhaps they were thinking of those giant mechanical devices that rattle almonds out of almond trees.  Who knows what lurks in the mental crevices of one’s brain?  A big thanks to the Comedian Frank King for hearing this one!

We are not out of the clear

This dandy conflation comes straight from the mouth of Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show.  She was discussing Russian interference in the U.S. Presidential election and explained that “we are not out of the clear”.  This is congruent conflation of “out of the woods” and “in the clear”, both meaning to be free from danger or suspicion of wrongdoing.  This malaphor was repeated by MSNBC on its twitter feed: Sen. Kamala Harris: “We’re not out of the clear in terms of 2018 election cycle”

Many followers caught this one, including Beatrice Zablocki, Sam Edelmann, and Frank King.  I guess this one was very clear.

We can’t keep kicking this issue down the can

I know it’s similar to other posts regarding malaphors on the idiom, “kick the can down the road”, but this one was again uttered in the political world and I can’t pass it up.  This time it is Bernie Sanders, appearing on the Andrea Mitchell show on MSNBC, talking about the DACA impasse between Congress and the president.  A big thanks to Mike Browning for spotting this one.

They are kicking the can down the table

Similar to the last post, this is another “kick the can down the road” malaphor.  Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader, said this one on CNN.  He was explaining why he did not want to pass a CR.  This is a mashup of “kick the can down the road” (to postpone or defer an action) and I think “come to the table”(to meet to negotiate a particular issue or situation).  My guess is that Schumer combined these two thoughts as he is currently negotiating a deal to stop the government shutdown.  New Yorkers talk faster than their thoughts.  A big thanks to Beatrice Zablocki for hearing this one.

So it only stands fair that he should be prosecuted for misconduct also

This one was heard on the PBS News hour by one of Trump’s accusers of sexual misconduct.  It is a blend of “seems fair” and “stands to reason” (is obvious).   A big thanks to Laszlo Veres for hearing this one.

It’s like putting the wolf in charge of the hen house

This was uttered by Chuck Schumer when discussing Trump’s nominee, Tom Marino, as Drug Czar.  Schumer said Marino’s confirmation would be “like putting the wolf in charge of the hen house”.

This is a mashup of “the fox guarding the hen house” (assigning the duty of guarding valuable information or resources to someone who is likely to exploit that opportunity) and “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” (a person or thing that appears harmless but is actually dangerous).  Now certainly you wouldn’t want a wolf in charge of the hen house either, but the correct idiom only indicts the fox.  A big thanks to Steve Grieme for catching this one and sending it on.

The USFL went down in smoke because of Trump

I am guilty of this one.  I was talking to my wife about what happened when Trump convinced the USFL owners to change the schedule from the Spring to the Fall season in order to compete head to head against the NFL.  This is a congruent conflation of “up in smoke” and “down in flames”, both meaning something failed or was destroyed.  Flames and smoke are the culprits here.  Also down and up.  Directionally challenged semantically?