My wife said this one when discussing a spouse who was earning most of the money in the household. It is a word blend malaphor of “breadwinner” (a person who earns money to support a family) and “wage earner” (a person who works for a salary). Check out my word blends I have posted over the years. Just type word blend in the Search feature on the website. Also, I have a chapter devoted to these special malaphors in my book, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”, available on Amazon for cheap!
Gym owner Monty Webb was frustrated by the lockdown and decided to open. He uttered this nice malaphor, a mashup of “throw (someone) under the bus” (to exploit someone’s trust for one’s own purpose) and “water under the bridge” (something happened in the past and it is not worth worrying about it now). Here is the quote in context:
Gym co-owner Monty Webb of Plum said he’s had enough.
He and his wife, Linda, own and operate Webb’s World of Fitness in Penn Hills.
And he’s open for business.
“I opened because it’s essential. Your heath is essential,” Webb said. “I got tired of the gyms getting thrown under the bridge. You’re thanking all these essential businesses and essential workers. I’ve been doing this for 32 years. It’s essential.”
A big thanks to Mike Ameel for spotting this one and sending it in.
The speaker was remarking that one of the strengths in her workplace was that her fellow workers are always rolling with the flow. This is a congruent conflation of “rolling with the punches” and “going with the flow”, both expressions meaning to be able to deal with a series of difficult situations. This malaphor is also the title of a nice Charlie Rich song, “Rollin’ with the Flow”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAQ96MAtGn8
A big thanks to Elly Pietrucha for sending this one in!
Paul Jackson, global head of asset allocation research at Invesco, was discussing investing amid the coronavirus crisis. “We’ll be walking a tightrope around coronavirus for some time.” This is a mashup of “walking a tightrope” (being extremely careful and precise) and “tiptoeing around” (avoiding confrontation). Here is the link: https://www.cnbc.com/video/2020/05/11/well-be-walking-tightrope-around-coronavirus-for-some-time-investor.html
A tip of the toque to Barry Eigen for spotting this one in the news wilds. And yes, Barry, I found a circular tightrope (sorta).
This was uttered by a driver who was being tailgated. It is a congruent conflation of “calm down” and “cool your jets”, both meaning to tell someone to relax or be less intense. In researching this one, I found out that “calm your tits” is another expression meaning to relax or be less intense, so perhaps the speaker was thinking of this one as well. Anyone know if that is an American or British expression? A big thanks to Martin Pietrucha who said this one and realized he had malaphored.
A father and daughter got into an argument about their calico cat, and whether her markings were splotches or patches. The daughter said her Dad was being trivial, and then uttered this malaphor. It is a congruent conflation of “splitting hairs” and “nitpicking” or “picking (something) apart”, all meaning to make small or overfine distinctions. Hope no one has trichotillomania. A shout out to a familiar name on this website, John Kooser (aka “the Dad”) for sending this one in.
Two people were overheard talking about upcoming the 2020 presidential debates between Trump and Joe Biden. One person said of Trump: “Trump’s going to eat him apart….” This is a nice congruent conflation of “eat him alive” and “tear him apart”, both meaning to overwhelm and defeat or dominate another. “Eat his lunch” might also be in the mix, as it has the same meaning as the conflated idioms. My guess is that Biden might be a little tough to chew. A big thank you to Verbatim for sending this one in!
My recent post “Is Papi pulling your goat?” (https://malaphors.com/2020/04/27/is-papi-pulling-your-goat/) prompted malaphor follower Claire to write: “I always use the phrase ‘getting right up my goat’ which I think might be a malaphor.” Yes, Claire, this is a congruent conflation of “get (one’s) goat” and “be up (one’s) ass”, both meaning to irritate of annoy someone. This mixed idiom is an improvement over the other two, I think. Might also be a new yoga expression. A big thanks to Claire for sharing this one.