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.
This is a mashup of the phrases “better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick” (better than nothing) and “kick in the pants” (message or gesture that acts as motivation for the recipient). Kicking and poking are confused here. Or maybe the speaker was saying just do something to get motivated? A big thanks to Eric for sending this one in!
This one was uttered on the t.v. show The View. The contributor was sitting in a doctor’s office and heard it on the t.v. that was above her head. This is a nice mashup of “slippery slope” (a behavior or action will lead to a worse form of the same behavior or action) and “sliding scale” (a system in which the rate at which something is paid changes as a result of other condition). “Slopes” and “scales” are six letter words starting with s and sound somewhat similar, which I think is the cause of this malaphor. Both phrases also describe something that changes as a result of another action. A big thanks to Vicki Ameel-Kovacs for hearing this one and passing it on. She has the ears of a hawk!
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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