In Louisville’s newspaper, the Courier-Journal, there was a story about a Tennessee basketball player and her father. ” So father and daughter have missed each other on this trip, as they do often, ‘like two trains crossing in the night,’ Diamond said. ”
As the contributor noted, this might be a three way mix of “two ships passing in the night” (individuals who are rarely in the same place at the same time), “crossing paths” (to meet someone by chance), and “strangers on a train” (not really an idiom but a Hitchcock movie). Certainly one from Louisville might be thinking of trains more than ships, given its location. A big thanks to Emerson for seeing this one and sending it on!
A neighbor’s elderly aunt said this beauty, referring to an inebriated group. This is a mash up of “three sheets to the wind” (drunk) and “two ships passing in the night” (people who are rarely in the same place at the same time). The speaker apparently got her numbers mixed up. She also could have been thinking about the group “passing out” and thus mixed the phrases. Anyway, sounds kinky. A big thanks to John Polk, who is also a big fan of wordplay. You can follow him on Twitter – @ClichesGoneWild.