That’s right, a malaphor two-fer, from the lips of Jennifer Rubin, heard on MSNBC the other night. Here is what she said:
On Republicans, “how many points will the Dow have to drop to …get them off the stick?” This is a nice congruent conflation of “get on the stick” and “get off the dime”, both meaning to organize oneself and start preparing for something.
On Trump’s opponents, “he’s always thrived on chaos, …he thinks it puts his opponents on their back heel.” This is a mashup of “back on his heels” (to put into a state of unease or surprise) and “flat on (one’s) back” (lacking the strength to get up).
A big, big thanks to Frank King for hearing these gems and passing them on!
The Malaphorer in Chief, Donald Trump, uttered this beauty when he was discussing his idea to purchase Greenland. “It’s not number one on the burner, I can tell you that.” This is a congruent conflation of “not number one on the list” and “not on the front burner”, both meaning not a high priority. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/kudlow-says-white-house-is-looking-at-trying-to-buy-greenland/2019/08/18/ab367b6c-c1bb-11e9-b5e4-54aa56d5b7ce_story.html.
This one was heard by several loyal malaphor followers, including Barry Eigen, Donna Calvert, and Frank King. This Trump malaphor is not the first. Check my book out, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors” (available on Amazon) for more mashups from him. There are also many more on this blog. Search “Trump”.
This was uttered by Congressman Max Rose (D-NY) on MSNBC’s Morning Joe show. Rose was talking about efforts to pass gun legislation and he said, referring to Trump, “this President, I believe, has no inner core beliefs. He flows with the wind.” This is a congruent conflation of “goes with the flow” and “blows with the wind”, both meaning to act according to prevailing circumstances rather than a consistent plan. “Blow” rhymes with “flow” which could have contributed to the mashup. A shout out to Mike Kovacs for hearing this one and sending it in. Picture suggested by Mike!
Ayman Mohyeldin on MSNBC uttered this one when he was talking about Trey Gowdy and Republicans criticizing Democrats and Mueller’s testimony. It is a congruent conflation of “not holding back” and “not pulling any punches”, both meaning to act without restraint or limitations. The congruent conflation to me is the purest form of a malaphor. The speaker is thinking of the correct idiom but there are other idioms that mean the same thing swirling in the brain. A big thanks to Frank King for hearing this subtle but classic malaphor. @AymanM
This appears in the very first line of Eric Lutz’s piece in Vanity Fair on Paul Ryan’s interview with Politico’s Tim Alberta. It is a congruent conflation of “run interference” and “provide cover” (take an action to avoid problems, on behalf of another individual). “Run for cover” might also have been in the writer’s mind, located in the “freudian slip” area. A big thanks to Frank King who spotted this one!
This beauty comes from a Trump tweet. Concerning a possible military strike against Iran, Trump tweeted, “We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die.” This is a mashup of “locked and loaded” (a command to prepare for battle) and “to go off half-cocked” (to take a premature or ill-considered action). Many news sites picked up on the malaphor, including Reuters, calling it a malaprop. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-malaprop/trumps-half-cocked-and-loaded-tweet-draws-barrage-of-reaction-idUSKCN1TM2I0
We of course know it is not a malaprop (improper use of a word) but rather a malaphor (unintentional blend of two or more idioms). A few loyal followers, including Ron MacDonald and Frank King, spotted this one. Thanks Ron and Frank!
This one conjures up a scary/humorous image. Former House Rep Joe Crowley (D-NY) (who was unseated by AOC) said this beaut on MSNBC today. He was asked if he had any advice for the Biden campaign and this was his answer. It is a congruent conflation of “press the flesh” and “shake hands and kiss babies”, both meaning to go out and meet as many people as possible. Mike Kovacs, Chief Operating Officer for Malaphor Central, heard this one and sent it in immediately. Mike noted that there are several cheap jokes embedded in this malaphor. Crowley lost to AOC, who as many will remember shook the flesh in a great dance video. Also, Mike queried whether Biden at his age could shake the flesh considering the loss of elasticity, but I believe that actually works to Joe’s advantage.