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.
Nicole Wallace on Morning Joe uttered this nice malaphor. It is a mashup of “bull in a china shop” (one who is aggressive and clumsy in a situation that requires care and delicacy) and “the elephant in the room” (an obvious truth or fact that is being intentionally ignored or left unaddressed). Not sure what would cause more damage in a china shop – a bull or an elephant? By the way, elephants are a common source of malaphors: just type the word “elephant” in the search engine on my website and you will find a treasure trove of elephant malaphors. a big thanks to Donna Calvert for hearing this one and passing it on.
Want to see more elephant malaphors? Chedk out my book, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other malaphors” and see a whole chapter devoted to pachyderm mashups. Available on Amazon for a cheap $7.99.
Political pundit Charlie Sykes uttered this one on MSNBC’s Hardball (hosted by the Malaphor King, Chris Matthews – see website for the many contributions). This is a mashup of “run point” (take the lead) and “give cover” (protect from attack). Perhaps Mr. Sykes was thinking (or hoping) about “running for cover”, but there is no indication any Republican is doing that at this point. A big thanks to Frank King for hearing this one and sharing it.
This gem was uttered by Congressman Jim Himes (D-CT) yesterday on Meet the Press, talking about the Trump impeachment inquiry. It is a mashup of “muddy the waters” (to make a situation less clear) and “gum up the works” (to interfere with the proper functioning of something). Both expressions refer to degrading something, and “works” and “waters” might have been jumbled by the phrase “water works”? A big shout out to Bruce Ryan who heard this one and passed it on. @jahimes @MeetThePress
You can hear this malaphor just about at the beginning of the video: