Coaches shouldn’t browbeat players over the head

This was uttered on a sports radio show (of course).  The speaker was talking about Tom Izzo and his rant at his players during the NCAA tournament.  It is a nice mashup of “browbeat (someone) into (something)” (bully or initmidate) and “beat (someone) over the head (with a fact or opinion)” (emphasize or repeat something strongly).  The word “browbeat” originally (1580s?) meant “to bear down with stern or arrogant looks,” and later became a term used for “bullying”.  A big thanks to John Kooser for hearing this one.


He’s got nothing to hang his head on

University of Virginia basketball guard Kyle Guy was remarking on the 42 point performance of Carsen Edwards of Purdue, even though Purdue lost.  This is a brilliant mashup of “hang (one’s) head” (express shame or contrition) and  “hang (one’s) hat on (something)” (depend or rely on something).  “Hang” is in both expressions and “head” and “hat” are similar sounding and visually close.  A big thanks to Tom Justice for hearing this one.  Wahoowa!

I’ll defend you to the nines

A father was talking to his daughter about always defending her actions.  It is a nice mashup of “dressed to the nines” (wearing very elegant or formal clothes) and “defend to the death your right to say (something)” (disapprove what another is saying but allow them to say it).  “Dressed to the nines” expression is thought to have originated from the 99th Wiltshire Regiment, a military unit noted for its smart appearance.

This one reminds me of the classic I posted a few years ago:  “She was dressed to a tee (or t)”.

A big thanks to Mike Kovacs, Chief Malaphor Reporter, for hearing this one.

The swallows are coming home to roost

The speaker was talking about a group of people getting what they deserved based on their actions.  It is a conflation of “chickens coming home to roost” (facing the consequences of your actions) and the song “When the swallows come back to Capistrano”.  This one reminds me of one of my favorite malaphors that I previously posted and which appears in my book, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”:

Alabama State Representative John Rogers, in response to questions about his protests outside a hospital that is about to be closed, said “We’ll be here until the cows come home from Capistrano”.  Here’s the link:

Those swallows (or cows or chickens) from Capistrano sure get around.  A big thanks to John Kooser for hearing this one.

Two things caught my eyebrow this week

This was spotted on a facebook post.  Sounds painful.  It’s a nice mashup of “caught (one’s) eye (attention)” (attract one’s attention) and “raised a few eyebrows” (to elicit shock or surprise through unconventional actions or words).  Both idioms involve the eye, and both involve getting one’s attention.   I’m surprised that, considering the times we live in, there were only two things… A big thanks to Yvonne Stam for noticing this one and sending it in.

Kicking up the daisies

This was noticed on a tweet concerning people who don’t donate their organs when they die.  Here is the tweet:

It is a wonderful congruent conflation of “pushing up daisies” and “kick the bucket”, both phrases meaning to be dead.  The writer may have had the band “Kicking Daisies” in her mind when she wrote the mashup.  A big thanks to bittenbyfrost for noticing this one and sending it in.

Hang your heads high

This one jumped to the front of the queue, as it is very timely.  The speaker was discussing a recent NCAA mens’ basketball tournament game, and uttered this beauty about the Old Dominion University’s basketball game where they lost to Purdue in the first round.  The speaker tweeted:

Hang your heads high @ODUMensHoops. You all made us proud this season.  #MonarchMadness.

This is a nice incongruent conflation of “hang (one’s) head” (express shame or contrition) and “hold (one’s) head (up) high” (to display confidence and pride).  Perhaps the team is proud and ashame at the same time?  The mixup originates with the two similar sounding words, “hang” and “hold”.  A big thanks to Tom Justice who saw this one and sent it here to Malaphor Central.