Advertisements

You need to put your ducks in one basket

This one was overheard at a business meeting.  It is a nice conflation of “get your ducks in a row” (get well-organized) and “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” (don’t risk everything on one venture).  Idioms containing the words eggs, ducks, or baskets seem to get commonly jumbled.  Type any one of these words in the search and you will find many postings on the subjects.  A big thanks to John Hatfield III for hearing this one and sending it in.

Advertisements

The cart’s out of the barn. You can’t put it back in the bottle.

This multi-faceted malaphor was uttered by Sam Stein, Politics Editor of The Daily Beast.  He was discussing Trump’s inadvertent confessions.  This is a three way malaphor, mashing up “the cat’s out of the bag” (the secret has been made known), “closing the barn door after the horse has bolted” (trying to prevent a problem after the damage has been done),  and “can’t put the genie back in the bottle” (can’t go back to the state you were in before an important change happened).  Cats and carts sound alike, contributing to the confusion.  All three idioms describe a situation where something has changed and it cannot be reversed.  So, all three are appropriate in context, but perhaps not jumbled together.  A big thanks to Ron MacDonald for hearing this gem.


It sent shivers up my skin

The submitter was out with some friends for dinner when this was suddenly uttered.  An instant malaphor alert went off.  This is a nice, alliterative congruent conflation (best kind of malaphor, imho) of “send shivers up (one’s) spine” and “makes (one’s) skin crawl”, both meaning to cause to feel frightened or unnerved.  Spine and skin are mixed here, and the visual of shivers crawling.  Certainly your skin shivers when you’re cold, so the mixup is quite expected.  A big thank you to Steve Grieme for hearing this one and passing it on!