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Television

WE SHOULD AVOID IN DROVES (Sopranos)

Sopranos – 13th episode, first season (episode entitled “I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano”). Artie Boucco runs the restaurant Vesuvios with his wife Charmaine. She doesn’t like the mafia types like Tony coming in but Artie thinks it’s good for business. Gives the place a buzz.

Artie: When are you gonna get it into your head that a certain amount of that kind of patronage creates buzz?
Charmaine: Artie, that kind of buzz we should avoid in droves.

This is a beautiful conflation of “avoid like the plague” and “came in droves”. A big shout out to John Costello for catching this one.

KNIGHTS IN WHITE SATIN ARMOR Sopranos)

Another malaphor from the Sopranos series, compliments of John Costello. The title of episode 12, season 2, is The Knight in White Satin Armor. The episode’s title is a quote made by Irina about her cousin Svetlana’s American fiancé, Bill, who treats her well.

This is a confused paraphrasing of the term “knight in shining armor” and the Moody Blues song “Nights in White Satin”. Irina first says this in the Season One episode “College”.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knight_in_White_Satin_Armor

IT CAUGHT MY MIND (Real Time with Bill Maher)

I heard this one from Senator Jon Tester of Montana on the Bill Maher show.   It is a mash up of “caught my eye” and I think “bring to mind”, both meaning to cause one to think of someone or something.   The words mind and eye sound similar and are both located in the head, perhaps adding to the conflation.  I like this one as it is subtle and still descriptive of the thought.

KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE TIGER (Sopranos)

This is a blend of “eyes on the prize” and “eye of the tiger”.  I heard this tonight in the Sopranos episode “Sentimental Education” (Season five, Episode six).  The writing in the Sopranos is rich with wordplay.  I have posted several malaphors heard on the Sopranos series.

WE HAVE A FEW DARK SHEEP IN THE FAMILY (Sopranos)

This is a mash up of “black sheep” (disreputable member of a group) and “dark horse” (something or someone who is little known and rises to prominence).  It was uttered in The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti the eighth episode of the first season of The Sopranos.:

Dr. Reis: You know, on my mother’s side, we have a few dark sheep.
Louis “Lepke” Buchalter, you know, Murder Incorporated. My mother’s
uncle was Lepke’s wheel man, his driver.

I WILL HAUNT YOU TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH (DR. PHIL SHOW)

This beauty is from the Dr. Phil Show. He was interviewing Nicholas Brendon, one of the stars of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series, who had walked off the set when Dr. Phil started asking him about his drinking and Brendon took issue with the line of questioning.  In discussing the episode with Entertainment Tonight, Dr. Phil said that he was the wrong person to bring in if one really didn’t want to quit drinking because, “I will haunt you to the ends of the earth.” This is a mashup of “haunt your dreams” and “hunt you to the ends of the earth.”  “Haunt” and “hunt” are similar looking and sounding words, contributing to the confusion.  The malaphor contributor?  Mike Kovacs of course. Just call him “Mike the Malaphor Slayer”.  Thanks MMS.

WE REALLY NAILED IT OUT OF THE PARK (BEACH FLIP)

This wonderful malaphor was heard by the Chief Judge of Malaphors (CJM),  Yvonne.  It was said on the penultimate episode of HGTV’s Beach Flip when contestant Martha blurts out “we really nailed it out of the park.”  This is a congruent conflation of two sports metaphors – “nailed it”  and “hit it out of the park”, both meaning to do something successfully or an outstanding achievement.  The malaphor is similar to another one heard on HGTV – “they blew it out of the park.”  https://malaphors.com/?s=park  Interestingly, that one was also heard by Yvonne, CJM.  Keep watching those reality shows, Yvonne!

I WORKED MY BUTT TO THE BONE (JUDGE JUDY)

I’ve heard “bad to the bone”, but “butt to the bone”?  This hilarious, alliterative malaphor was uttered on a radio commercial promo for an upcoming Judge Judy show.   It is a congruent conflation of “worked my butt off” and “worked my fingers to the bone”, both meaning to work extremely hard.  Perhaps this should now be an expression used by workout trainers.  A big thank you to Steve Grieme who heard this one and passed it on!

THIS IS STILL THE LAND OF THE RED, WHITE, AND BLUE (SOPRANOS)

This patriotic (?) malaphor was uttered on the t.v. show Law and Order (episode 1, season 6) by the character Nick Capetti (played by the actor John Ventimiglia – of Artie Bucco fame on the Sopranos) when he says to Detectives Briscoe and Curtis, “Hey this is still the land of the red, white, and blue.”   It is a mash up of lyrics, “land of the free, home of the brave” (from the Star Spangled Banner) and “three cheers for the red, white, and blue” (from The Stars and Stripes Forever).   A big USA chant to Martin Pietrucha for hearing this one and sending it in!

YOU HAVE A LONG ROAD TO CLIMB (TRUE DETECTIVE)

This mixed idiom is similar to “long road to hoe”, posted April 25, 2013.  The phrases in this malaphor include “long road”, “tough row to hoe”, and “a mountain to climb”, all meaning tough or difficult situations.  John Costello heard this on the HBO series True Detective, episode 5.  Marty is trying to get back with Maggie. Maggie says “you have a long road to climb.”  Of course, if you lived in or visited Pittsburgh or San Francisco, you might hear this one used literally.  Thanks to John Costello for this one.

I NEED TO KNOCK IT OUT OF THE BOX (AMERICAN GRILLED)

“Think outside the box” is one of the most overused idioms in recent years, and so I was happy to receive this great malaphor mixing up that trite phrase.  This is a mash up of “think outside the box” (be creative) and “knock it out of the park” (did a great job).  There is also a baseball expression, “knocked him out of the box”, describing a pitcher leaving the game as a result of heavy hitting.  However, I don’t think that was in the mix given the context.  The malaphor was spoken on the Travel Channel TV show ‘American Grilled’.  One of the contestants, who needed to score big with the judges,  said “I need to knock it out of the box”, indicating that he meant to say “knock it out of the park”.   Score a home run for Michael Ameel, who sent this one in.

I WOULDN’T NICKEL PICK OVER THAT (THE TALK)

Oh boy, this is a good one.  Kudos again to Vicky Ameel-Kovacs for hearing this beauty on the tv show, “The Talk”.   Marie Osmond uttered this mash up of “nit-pick”  (overly concerned with inconsequential details) and “nickel and dimed” (to charge small amounts to someone – a form of monetary nit pick).  Perhaps pickle was also on her brain and nickle rhymes with that, or that nit and nickle have similar sounds.   The fact that Vicky is watching “The Talk” concerns me a little, but I wouldn’t nickel-pick over that.

I DON’T KNOW HIM FROM A HOLE IN THE WALL (THE PEOPLE’S COURT)

The People's Court

The People’s Court (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a mash up of “a hole in the wall” (obscure place) and “I wouldn’t know him from a hole in the ground” (obscure person).  Also in the mix has to be “doesn’t know him from Adam” and “he doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground”, as well as the visual of punching holes in the wall.   This blended idiom comes to us compliments of Barry Eigen, who heard it on yesterday’s (4/29/13) episode of The People’s Court, uttered by “Judge” Marilyn Milian.

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2 Comments on “Television”

  1. David Spain says:

    Through the Moon – CNN Host Erin Burnette

    In the conclusion to a report today by CNN news host Erin Burnette about the Tesla Motor Car Corp. she finishes the report with a malaphor by describing the companies stock price for the year as being “…through the moon…” A mash up of the phrases “through the roof” and “over the moon”.

    Video with concluding malaphor can be seen here:

    http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/us/2013/11/19/erin-tell-tesla-car-under-federal-investigation.cnn.html?iref=allsearch

  2. Louis Mande says:

    The other day on Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough was commenting on Donald’s accouncement that he was running for president, “[I]f people think he’s going to get one persent and crawl away with his head between his tail, they probably have it wrong.” A combination of “head between his knees” and “tail tucked between his legs.” Either way, I agree. Neither one describes The Donald.


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