Nicole Wallace on Morning Joe uttered this nice malaphor. It is a mashup of “bull in a china shop” (one who is aggressive and clumsy in a situation that requires care and delicacy) and “the elephant in the room” (an obvious truth or fact that is being intentionally ignored or left unaddressed). Not sure what would cause more damage in a china shop – a bull or an elephant? By the way, elephants are a common source of malaphors: just type the word “elephant” in the search engine on my website and you will find a treasure trove of elephant malaphors. a big thanks to Donna Calvert for hearing this one and passing it on.
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This was uttered in response to finding a cake topping used in childhood. It’s a congruent conflation of ‘blast from the past” and “flashback”, both describing something that evokes a sense of nostalgia. “Blast” and “past” are similar sounding. A big thanks to Nick Mamalis for saying this one and Elaine Hatfield for sharing it.
The speaker was talking about taking a centrist approach. This is a nice mashup of “middle ground” (compromise) and “middle of the road” (moderate or centrist). Both idioms have the word “middle” and both describe the center of something, hence the mixup. A big thanks to Katie Norwood for uttering this one and sharing it!
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The Queen of Malaphors, Naomi David, is back! She uttered this beauty, which is a mashup of “kick this around” (mull over or consider something) and “down the line” (in the future), creating a definition of thinking about something for the future. She may also have been thinking “up the line” (through the chain of command). And of course she may have been thinking of “kicking the can down the road” (avoiding making a decision) although I believe the context was brainstorming. A big thanks to Katie Norwood who passed this one on.
This one comes from the tv show Scrubs. While intentional, it’s a classic malaphor and worth posting (although it does go against the rules that the malaphor spoken or written should be unintentional). Still, too good to pass up. It’s a mashup (of course) of “thick as thieves” (a close alliance or friendship) and “like two peas in a pod” (similar interests or beliefs). This one works on many levels – similar idioms, and the rhyme of “peas” and “thieves”. A big thanks to Elly Pietrucha for spotting this one on a rerun.
This gem was uttered by Congressman Jim Himes (D-CT) yesterday on Meet the Press, talking about the Trump impeachment inquiry. It is a mashup of “muddy the waters” (to make a situation less clear) and “gum up the works” (to interfere with the proper functioning of something). Both expressions refer to degrading something, and “works” and “waters” might have been jumbled by the phrase “water works”? A big shout out to Bruce Ryan who heard this one and passed it on. @jahimes @MeetThePress
You can hear this malaphor just about at the beginning of the video:
A TV host was interviewing an author, and commenting on the author’s successful book (on the NY Times bestseller list). This seems to be a mashup of “run away with” (win handily) and “off the charts” (spectacular). Both phrases refer to something or someone having success, hence the mixup in context. A big thanks to Verbatim for hearing this one and sending it in.
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