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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This one was uttered by Lev Parnas, Rudy Giuliani’s assistant in the Rachel Maddow interview. Here it is:
Lev was describing Giuliani’s reaction to hearing Ukranian President Zelensky’s decision not to announce an investifation specifically mentioning Joe Biden’s name. It is a nice congruent conflation of ” “flipped his lid” and “blew his top/stack”, both meaning to become extremely angry or mad. A huge thanks to Mike Kovacs for hearing this one and sending it in.
Someone was referring to the Repbulicans’ defense in the Trump impeachment hearings. This is a nice word blend of “humbug” (deceptive or false talk) and “mumbo jumbo” (intended to cause confusion). Both expressions refer to misleading someone. Maybe it’s a new expression, meaning deceptive talk meant to confuse? A big thanks to John Kooser who overheard this one.
This was uttered by President Trump in a December 5, 2019 tweet. Here it is:
..trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business. We will have Schiff, the Bidens, Pelosi and many more testify, and will reveal, for the first time, how corrupt our system really is. I was elected to “Clean the Swamp,” and that’s what I am doing!
Trump’s mantra has always been “drain the swamp”, so I believe this is a malaphor, conflating “drain the swamp” with “clean house”, both meaning to wipe out corruption or inefficiency. A big thanks to Sandor Kovacs for spotting this one and sending it in.