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”. https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2017/10/17/Drug-czar-nominee-Marino-withdraws-from-consideration-Trump-says/9001508246201/
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.
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?
Chris Matthews from MSNBC was referring to the Graham-Cassidy Health Bill when he uttered this beauty. He immediately realized his mistake and then said “dead as a door nail” but it was too late. The malaphor is in the books. It is a mashup of “dead as a door nail” (undoubtedly dead) and “cool as a cucumber” (extremely calm and in control of your emotions). Certainly when you are dead you are pretty cool temperature-wise. Perhaps this is what Mr. Matthews was thinking. I’m glad cucumbers are dead. I still remember live tomatoes in the movie “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.” A big thanks to “my ol’ pal” Beatrice Zablocki for hearing this one and passing it on quickly.
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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). https://malaphors.com/2012/09/15/the-project-is-going-to-pot-in-a-handbasket/ A big thanks to Kerry Reynolds for hearing this one and passing it on.
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). http://www.zajilspeed.com/2017/08/african-american-republicans-tried-to.html
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.
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!
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”. https://malaphors.com/2012/08/27/sitting-on-their-hands-and-needles/ A big thanks to Mike Kovacs, the “24/7 malaphor hunter”.