He’s teetering a fragile line

Ginger Gibson, Reuters Political Correspondent on the NPR show A1, was talking about Trump’s recent actions relative to the Roger Stone sentencing.  This is a mashup of “teetering on the edge” (to be very close to a dangerous situation)  and “walking a fine line” (in a dangerous situation where you could easily make a mistake).  Both idioms involve dangerous situations, and “line” and “edge” are closely related.  Not sure where “fragile” fits in, but “fine” has a similar meaning to “fragile”, to wit – fine means “having or requiring an intricate delicacy of touch” as in ‘delicate’, ‘fragile’, ‘frail’,” etc .”  Here’s where you can hear a recording: at 7:25. https://the1a.org/segments/the-news-roundup-domestic-2020-014-02/  

By the way, this is Ms. Gibson’s second malaphor.  See  https://malaphors.com/2018/05/18/the-buck-stops-at-the-top/.

A tip of the hat to David Barnes for hearing this one.


He’s tooting that horn all the way to the bank

This one comes from the Washington Post’s Daily 202  Connie Breeden, an attorney who is African American, said “This is going to be Biden’s last stand because he thinks that black people are going to support him just because of Barack Obama. He’s tooting that horn all the way to the bank. But people are savvier than that.”  This is a mashup of “tooting his own horn” (to boast or brag about one’s abilities) and “laughing all the way to the bank” (to profit from something that others regard as stupid or frivolous).  Here’s the link to the malaphor

https://s2.washingtonpost.com/camp-rw/?e=YmVpZ2VuQHZlcml6b24ubmV0&s=5e555749fe1ff658cabcb3bc&linknum=4&linktot=85

Perhaps the speaker was thinking of thieves dressed as clowns robbing a bank.  That is certainly in several movies, including Quick Change.  A big thank you to Barry Eigen for spotting this one and sending it in.


A little bit of a tightrope that the Democrats have to run

This mashup was uttered by Frank Thorp V on MSNBC last Saturday.  It is a conflation of “walk a tightrope” (be in a situation where one must be extremely cautious) and “run the gauntlet” (enduring a series of problems, threats, or criticisms).  “Running” and “walking” might have led to the speaker’s confusion, or perhaps in the end the Democrats really had to run across that tightrope!  A big thanks to Frank King who heard this one and ran it in.

We’ve never sought to depose every witness under the face of the sun

Adam Schiff, House Manager in the Trump Impeachment Trial, uttered this in response to the President’s counsel’s comment that witnesses would be endless and that the trial could drag on until the next election.  Here is the context and the quote:

Taking up additional witnesses “could be done very quickly, effectively, we’ve never sought to depose every witness under the face of the sun,” Schiff later added, noting that a select four witnesses have been specified by House managers as “particularly appropriate and relevant” to their case.

https://www.ntd.com/impeachment-trial-live-updates-final-day-of-qa-before-vote-on-witnesses_429541.html

This is a terrific congruent conflation of ” everything under the sun” and “on the face of the earth”, both meaning all things in existence, or everything one can reasonably imagine.  The speaker apparently was thinking of the earth and the sun at the same time.  A big thanks to Bruce Ryan for hearing this one and sending it in.  Bruce has the ears of a hawk.


It was a lock cinch

Brian Williams on MSNBC, the Malaphor Network, uttered this one when he was discussing the Trump impeachment.  It is a congruent conflation of “a lock” and “a lead-pipe cinch or cinch”, both meaning a certainty or a task certain to be accomplished.  Maybe a lock cinch is a certain certainty?  A big thanks to Frank King who heard this one and sent it in.

He was taken to the carpet

Senator Mike Braun, Republican from Indiana, uttered this one on Meet the Press yesterday.  He was talking about Trump and the effect impeachment will have on him.  It is a mashup of “called on the carpet” (to reprimand someone) and “taken to the cleaners” (to swindle someone or to soundly defeat someone).  My guess is that the Senator was thinking of carpet cleaning.  He also may have been thinking of the idiom “taken to the mat”(to confront or argue with someone), given mats and carpets are both floor coverings.  A big thanks to Elaine Hatfield and Mike Kovacs who heard this one and sent it in.


This is not coming out of whole cloth

Willie Geist on MSNBC’s Morning Joe said this one, discussing Lev Parnas’ statements to Rachel Maddow.  It is a nice congruent conflation of “coming out of left field” and ” made out of whole cloth”, both meaning something utterly false or fictional.  “Out of” is in both phrases, contributing to the mixup.  A tip of the hat to Donna Calvert who heard this one and immediately contacted Malaphor Central.