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He had a hissing contest

Ron Cook, a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sports writer, uttered this beauty on the sports talk radio show, 93.7 The Fan.  He was summarizing Steelers’ wide receiver Antonio Brown’s out of control behavior and that Brown had “a hissing contest” with one of the coaches.  This is a conflation of “pissing contest” (useless or trivial argument) and a “hissy fit” (a childish temper tantrum).  Both idioms actually fit the context, a rarity in malaphors.  The rhyming of hissing and pissing also contributed to the mashup.  A big thanks to John Kooser for hearing this one and sending it in.

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Trump is hunkering in

This was uttered by Elise Jordan on MSNBC, as she was describing Trump alone in the White House.  It is a congruent conflation of “digging in” and “hunkering down”, both meaning to get started in working on something or alternatively to seek refuge in a particular place.  A big thanks to Frank King for catching this one.


The government pulled the wool over him

On the Ali Velshi MSNBC show, Matt Apuzzo was talking about General Flynn and that some believe the government tricked him.  He then uttered this nice malaphor, which is a congruent conflation of “pull the wool over (one’s) eyes” and “pull one over on him”, both meaning to trick or deceive.  The operative word here is “pull” which appears in each idiom.  A big thanks to Hawk-eared Frank King for hearing this gem.


Whatever turns your boat

Overheard at a WalMart at midnight: two women were talking about another woman’s unusual outfit and one of them uttered this classic malaphor.  It is a congruent conflation of “whatever floats your boat” and “whatever turns you on”, both meaning whatever makes you happy.  The phrases both begin with “whatever”, and with boats capsizing, you can see where the confusion arises.  A big thanks to John Kooser who heard this one while doing some midnight shopping.

If you enjoyed this one, and are thinking about how to fill that Christmas stocking, why not get the malaphor book, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”?  It’s available on Amazon for a cheap 7.99.  Makes a great addition to any bathroom.


Beat the iron while it’s hot

This beauty comes from a video tutorial on Getting Google Reviews.  It is a nice mashup of “strike while the iron is hot”  (to make most of an opportunity or favorable conditions while one has the chance to do so) and “beat (someone) to the punch” (to do something before someone else does).  Both idioms involve doing something early.  A big thanks to Frank King for seeing this one and passing it on.  Shout out to The Ranking Academy for giving us this blooper.  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCopSeO4OPWd5M9zzPhA6qpg

 


He’s a wild cannon

This was heard in a court proceeding.  It is a congruent conflation of “wild card” and “loose cannon”, both describing someone or something as unpredictable.  A big thanks to Sam Edelmann who heard this one and passed it on.

We will be able to put all the dots in a row

Jackie Speier (D-CA) uttered this nice malaphor on the All In with Chris Hayes show on MSNBC (11/28/18).  Here is the context:  “and I have no doubt in my mind that we will at some point, when the Mueller investigation is over, be able to put all the dots in a row and draw a line through them.”  This is a congruent conflation of “get your ducks in a row” (organize your affairs) and “connect the dots” (to understand something by piecing together bits of information).  “Dots” and “ducks” sound alike and the idea of connecting dots is similar to a row.  A big thanks to Mike Kovacs for hearing this one.