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He always said 1990 was the year he hit the rocks

This one comes from New York Times reporter Susanne Craig, appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, discussing her reporting on Donald Trump’s business losses during 1984-1994.  It is a congruent conflation of “hit rock bottom” and “hit the skids”, both referring to a period of trouble or decline.  Both contain the word “hit”, contributing to the mixup.  “Hit a new low” might also be in the mix.  A big thanks to Vicki Ameel Kovacs for hearing this one.  Vicki can spot a malaphor a mile away.

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Egg this process forward

This was uttered on the Rachel Maddow show.  It was regarding Devlin Barrett’s breaking story regarding Mueller’s letter to Barr about his concerns with Barr’s summary.  It is a nice congruent conflation of “egg someone on” and “move (something) forward” both meaning to cause or encourage someone to do something. A big thanks to Frank King, the Mental Health Comedian, for hearing this one!


He’s grabbed it by the horn

This amazing malaphor was uttered by Donald Trump, on his reaction to Bill Barr’s performance as Attorney General and how Barr has handled the Mueller Report.

“Attorney General Barr is going to be giving a press conference and maybe I’ll do one after that, we’ll see. But he’s been a fantastic attorney general. He’s grabbed it by the horns,” Trump said.

https://www.abc-7.com/story/40326997/democrats-outraged-as-trump-team-shapes-mueller-report-rollout

It is a mashup of “grab the bull by the horns” (take control of a difficult situation) and Trump’s own expression, “grab ’em by the p***y” (stating that since he is rich and powerful he can do anything he wants with women).  Given the speaker, it is probably a good bet that the latter expression was floating in his mind when he uttered this malaphor.  Perhaps the word “horns” triggered the mix up?  A big thanks to Mike Kovacs for hearing this gem and realizing it was a genuine malaphor.  Excellent work, Mike.  Keep those ears open.


There are people waiting around the wings

This one was uttered by Heather McGee on MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace.  She was referring to people wanting to challenge Donald Trump in 2020.  It is a mashup of “waiting in the wings” (stand ready to do something at the appropriate time) and I think “just around the corner” (very soon, imminent).  As followers of this website know, MSNBC is known as The Malaphor Channel.  Malaphors tend to be spoken when someone is filling up airspace, such as political pundits, sports radio shows, and athletes being interviewed.  A big thanks to Guy Moody for spotting this subtle one.


It sticks under my skin

Noah Rothman uttered this nice malaphor on the MSNBC show, “Morning Joe”, on March 21.  He was referring to Trump’s comments about McCain and Obamacare.  It is a congruent conflation (two idioms mixed with the same meaning) of “sticks in (one’s) craw” and “gets under (someone’s) skin”, both referring to something that is irritating or bothersome to someone.

So what’s a craw?

A craw is the crop of a bird or insect, the transferred sense of the word to refer to a person’s gullet (Free Dictionary).  Perhaps Mr. Rothman is a Frank Sinatra fan, thinking of the song “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”.  A big thanks to Frank King for hearing this one!


He’s crazy as a bat

You can guess who the speaker was referring to.  This is a nice congruent conflation of “crazy as a bedbug (or loon)” and “batshit crazy”, both describing someone who is insane.  “Bats in the belfry” also come to mind, although that is an old-fashioned phrase.  “Crazy like a fox” (clever) might have been in the mix, but I doubt it based on the person the speaker was referring to.  Hint:  he denigrates war heroes, and even when they’re dead.


It’s a collusion witch hoax

This one is self-evident – spoken by Trump to the press on March 8 after the Manafort sentencing.  This is a conflation of “witch hunt” (an attempt to blame and punish people who hold unpopular views and opinions, often under the guise of some other investigation) and “hoax” (to trick into believing as genuine something false).  Maybe it was used intentionally as shorthand talk, like “Tim Apple”.  A big thanks to Frank King for spotting this timely one.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/politics/trump-its-a-collusion-witch-hoax/2019/03/08/973e41b1-cd99-45f0-b9ce-1246390c8248_video.html?utm_term=.8bd8aa0a86f9