Jackie Speier (D-CA) uttered this nice malaphor on the All In with Chris Hayes show on MSNBC (11/28/18). Here is the context: “and I have no doubt in my mind that we will at some point, when the Mueller investigation is over, be able to put all the dots in a row and draw a line through them.” This is a congruent conflation of “get your ducks in a row” (organize your affairs) and “connect the dots” (to understand something by piecing together bits of information). “Dots” and “ducks” sound alike and the idea of connecting dots is similar to a row. A big thanks to Mike Kovacs for hearing this one.
No, this was not said in an erectile dysfunction commercial, but rather by Heidi Przybyla on MSNBC’s Morning Joe the other day. She was talking about the Mueller investigation. It is a congruent conflation of “petering out” and “winding down”, both meaning to slowly come to a conclusion or end. Another tip of the hat to Frank King for spotting this one. He has the ears of a hawk.
This gem was uttered by Maria Teresa Kumar on MSNBC’s Last Word on November 12, 2018. Is it a malaphor? I think it is a malaphor word blend of “bully pulpit” (a public position that allows a person to share his views with a large audience) and “pit bull” (an aggressive and tenacious person). The latter defines the subject and the former was the intended idiom to be used. A big thank you to James Kozlowski for hearing this one and sharing it.
Kathleen Parker from the Washington Post uttered this one on MSNBC (the malaphor channel), talking about Nikki Haley. It is a conflation of “toeing the line” (adhering to the rules of something) and “threading the needle” (pass something through a narrow space between two things). Both idioms make sense in context, and perhaps Ms. Parker’s malaphor is really an economical way of expressing two ideas at once. A big thanks to Jim Kozlowski for hearing this one and passing it on.
This is one of my favorites. Donald Trump Jr. uttered this one when discussing the upcoming midterm elections. He told ABC news, “So our people, the MAGA people, they have to turn out. They have to get out and vote. And I think we can break history.” https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-jr-father-trusts-smaller-group-aides-white/story?id=57735562
This is a mash up of “make history” (to do something historically significant) and I think “break a record” (to do something at a higher or greater degree than the greatest extent currently known). Both expressions refer to achieving something never before achieved so it is close to a congruent conflation. “Break with tradition” (to do something in a new way) might also be in the mix. I am tempted to say “break wind” (to expel gas, fart) was also on the speaker’s mind but that is just a guess. A big thanks to Jack Chandler for spotting this gem.