This is a super mashup of “tarred and feathered” (to excoriate or criticize someone in a humiliating and public manner) and “tarred (painted) with the same brush” (unfairly judge or categorize as being the same as someone, usually in a negative manner). Both idioms refer to a negative action against another. They also both have the word “tar” in them, which is probably the cause of the mental hiccup. Also, brushes can be composed of hairs, which may have led the mind back to the word “feather”. A big thanks to Michael Boyette for hearing this one and sending it to my Facebook page, Malaphors.
In the continuing series on malaphors describing those who are not very intelligent, I give you this “three way malaphor”. It is a tri-mashup of “not the sharpest tool in the shed” and “not the brightest bulb in the chandelier”, both describing someone who is not very smart, combined with “not the only fish in the sea” (plenty of other suitable persons). I have posted multiple variations of this subject in the past, including “not the brightest knife in the drawer”, “not the brightest bulb in the shed”, and “not the sharpest bulb in the shed”. It just shows that we may want to look in the mirror every once in awhile. A big thanks to Kimberly Gorgichuk for hearing this one and passing it on.
A topic that was prematurely addressed was mentioned at a staff meeting. The response was the above malaphor. It is a nice mashup of “table that” (postpone the discussion of something at a meeting) and “couch (something) in (something)” (express something in clearly chosen or deceptive words). The speaker was apparently getting his furniture mixed up in his mind. A big thanks to Joel Friend who uttered this one and sent it in.
During the second intermission of the Penguins/Capitals hockey game last night, a commentator asked why the Capitals keep “kicking themselves in the foot.” This is a nice mashup of “kick yourself (or themselves)” (annoyed with yourself for doing something) and “shooting yourself (themselves) in the foot” (to cause oneself difficulty). Shooting and kicking are the culprits of the mix up. A tip of the toque to Steve Kovacs for sharing this one.
This one was overheard recently from malaphor follower Pat Mattimoe. Pat says “this is what happens when the gold-diggers get on the gravy train.” It’s a nice mashup of “gold digger” (a person who only pursues romantic relationships for financial gain) and “on the gravy train” (to be in a position of making lots of money without expending much effort). Both phrases involve getting lots of money. Perhaps the speaker had the monster truck jam tv commercial that always includes “Gravedigger!!”. Who knows? All I know it is an excellent malaphor. Thanks Pat!
Chris Matthews from MSNBC was referring to the Graham-Cassidy Health Bill when he uttered this beauty. He immediately realized his mistake and then said “dead as a door nail” but it was too late. The malaphor is in the books. It is a mashup of “dead as a door nail” (undoubtedly dead) and “cool as a cucumber” (extremely calm and in control of your emotions). Certainly when you are dead you are pretty cool temperature-wise. Perhaps this is what Mr. Matthews was thinking. I’m glad cucumbers are dead. I still remember live tomatoes in the movie “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.” A big thanks to “my ol’ pal” Beatrice Zablocki for hearing this one and passing it on quickly.
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This very well-formed malaphor was uttered on the HGTV show, Good Bones. “I really didn’t know what to expect. It blew me off of my feet.” It is a congruent conflation (the best kind of malaphors, in my opinion) of “knocked me off my feet” and “it blew me away”, both meaning to cause someone great pleasure or surprise. Certainly a strong wind might blow one off one’s feet, but they stand a better chance of staying put if they have “good bones”. A tip of the hat to David Stephens for hearing this one and sending it in!