This was uttered by a server at a restaurant after everyone ordered their food. It is a mashup of “firing on all cylinders” (to operate at the greatest possible speed or efficiency”) and I think “put the wheels in motion” (get something started) given the context. Wheels and cylinders are parts of a car, and probably that contributed to the mental mixup. A big thanks to Steve Grieme who heard this one and sent it in.
This was in response to a picture of me and Hal Kushner on my Facebook page. Tears for Hal Kushner, the Vietnam hero who is featured in Ken Burns’ Vietnam War series. It is a congruent conflation of “moved (drove) me to tears” and “brought tears to my eyes”, both meaning to evoke a strong emotion. If you don’t know about Dr. Kushner and his amazing story, watch the Burns series or check him out on google or YouTube. A big thanks to my friend Rainer Reichelt for unintentionally writing this nice malaphor and driving tears into my eyes with laughter!
Maybe this means to get a low price after an elaborate request? In any event, this phrase is a nice mix of “for a song” (for a very low price) and “a song and dance” (an elaborate story or effort to explain something). Kudos to Sam Edelmann who heard this one and passed it along.
Zerlina Maxwell said this on MSNBC’s Hardball recently. She was speaking about Biden and that since 21 Dems are running (and counting), he can’t be sure he will get the nomination. Ms. Maxwell actually uttered this same malaphor last year when she was talking about Democrats avoiding calls for impeaching Trump. Here was my post:
Zerlina Maxwell on MSNBC’s “Live with Katie Tur” uttered this beauty when she was talking about Democrats avoiding calls for impeaching Trump. This is a barnyard mashup of “don’t count your chickens before they hatch” (don’t make future plans before they happen) and “chickens come home to roost” (you have to face the consequences of your mistakes). “Chickens” of course are the culprit here, contributing to the mental yolk. These fowl phrases seem to get mixed up a lot – see “Never count your eggs before they hatch (July 9, 2012 post) , and “Might the roosters be guarding the henhouse?” (August 2, 2014 post). I was eggcited when several people laid this one on me. First was the ubiquitous Mike Kovacs, followed quickly by James Kozlowski and Bob Maxwell (no relation). Malaphor spotters are everywhere it seems.
Zerlina, if you are following, please keep them coming. We need to egg this process forward. This is a favorite of mine. The latest barnyard mashup was brought to you compliments of Beatrice Zablocki (“my ol’ pal”).
This was uttered on the Rachel Maddow show. It was regarding Devlin Barrett’s breaking story regarding Mueller’s letter to Barr about his concerns with Barr’s summary. It is a nice congruent conflation of “egg someone on” and “move (something) forward” both meaning to cause or encourage someone to do something. A big thanks to Frank King, the Mental Health Comedian, for hearing this one!
This one comes from Cape Town, South Africa. One of the contestants on the tv show “The Bachelor South Africa” was describing her dad. It is a mix of “pillar of strength” (a supportive or emotionally strong person) and “salt of the earth” (a genuine and morally sound person). Both idioms describe a person of good character, probably creating the confusion. Also, as the contibutor of this malaphor said, the speaker may have been thinking of that Biblical pillar of salt, Lot’s wife. A big thanks to Erika Bornman who heard this beauty and sent it in all the way from Cape Town, South Africa.
Did you like this one? Check out the salty book on malaphors, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”, available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692652205.