They are going to punt the ball down the road

This is another great mashup from a political pundit, this time heard on MSNBC.  It is a mix of “punt” (improvise or do something in a pinch) and “kick the can down the road” (to postpone or defer a definitive action).  So maybe they improvise while they delay?  A tip of the hat to Jim Kozlowski for hearing this one.


I was trying to buttercoat it

From the submitter:  “My coworker just said this when complimenting my singing. He used an expletive the first time, but when he repeated it, he used a euphemism in place of the expletive. When I said, “That’s not what you said before,” he said he was trying to buttercoat it, not realizing that he was mixing two expressions. When I told him that what he just said is a malaphor of butter up and sugarcoat, he said that it perfectly conveyed his sentiment.”

This is a great word blend of “sugarcoat” (palatable, or easy to take) and “butter up” (to be nice to someone by flattery or other means).  I think this should be a new phrase in the lexicon, and the above situation is a great example.  A big thanks to Diana for sharing this one!


I wouldn’t do that in a pink fit of Sundays

This was uttered by the submitter’s mum on many occasions.  It is a mashup of “in a pink fit” (a tantrum or in anger) and “in a month of Sundays (under no circumstances).  The mix up seems to be caused by that pesky preposition “in”.

I researched the phrase “in a pink fit” as I had never heard of it and it seems to be an Australian idiom.  Any UK folks out there heard of it?   A big thanks to Abigail for sending this one in.

Did you enjoy this Australian malaphor?  Get the malaphor book “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors” from down under today!  Check out Amazon at

I was flying by the edge of my seat

This one was said on the Food Network show “Cooks vs. Cons” (season 2, episode 5).  It is a nice mashup of “flying by the seat of my pants” (to rely on one’s instinct instead of following a set plan) and “on the edge of my seat” (very excited and giving your full attention to something).  “Seat” is the common word here, and the source of the mixup.  A big thanks to Hillary Harding for spotting this one!

Bills’ McDermott starting to look over his head

This malaphor headline comes to us from the Olean Times Herald:

If you clicked on the link, you will see that the author of the article inadvertently mentions the two sources: “in over your head” (too deeply involved in a difficult situation) and “looking over your shoulder” (insecure or anxious about a potential change).  This is another classic “head/shoulders” mash up.  I have posted numerous others.  A shout out to John Costello for spotting this one.

You’re going to separate the cream from the crop

Sports commentators say the darndest things, and this marvelous mashup was said on an NFL pregame show.  It is a conflation of “the cream of the crop” (the best of a particular group) and “separate the wheat from the chaff” (to separate the good from the inferior).  Because the subject was football, the commentator might also have been thinking of the phrase “separate the men from the boys” (to distinguish the experienced participants from the inexperienced).  Kudos to Jim Kozlowski for hearing this one and sending it in!

I think she’s going to drive me into a wall

This was uttered by the submitter’s daughter, complaining about a co-worker.  It’s a nice congruent conflation of “drive (someone) insane” and “drive (someone) up a wall”, both meaning to irritate or annoy someone to the point of distraction.  The speaker may have been thinking “insane” but the “in” led to “into”.   Just a theory.  A big thanks to Steve Grieme for hearing this one!