Word Funnies, Part 2: Malaphors

Whats a malaphor?  A blended idiom, combining two phrases.  A combination of Malaprop and metaphor.  I’ve enjoyed these gems for years, having a fondness for the absurd.  Only recently did I learn the “official” term, when a Facebook friend of mine linked to one of Dave Malaphor’s posts, and from there I found his site: malaphors.com I’ve been enjoying the malaphor of the day ever since!

All of us come up with malaphors from time to time, some of us more frequently than others.  As I noted in my earlier blog Word Funnies, Part 1: Malaprops, I’m more prone to “go mala” when I’m tired or intently following a train of thought, anytime my brain connections are a little loose.

Here are a few for your enjoyment:

He was just a splash in the pan”  thanks to Elisa K. for this one.  Its both a malaprop (splash for flash) and a mixup of a metaphor, flash in the pan, something ephemeral.

You dug your bed, you lie in it“.  Mixing up you made your bed, you lie in it, and digging a bed for a garden.  And then there’s an ominous interpretation where the villain forces the victim to dig their own grave prior to being executed.

From the same source, comes “That’ll separate the men from the goats“, followed quickly by “That’ll separate the girls from the sheep“. Both in response to falling as she got off a chairlift.  Combining separating the sheep from the goats, a biblical reference with separating the men from the boys, both hierarchical approaches to sorting, with a little gender twist thrown in.

That tickled my fancy bone”  I did this recently when writing for this blog, a mashup of tickled my fancy and hit my funny bone.

It could turn on a dime like a stallion“.  My friend Nancy tells me our mutual friend Christie uses this one. Turning on a dime, I get, but like a stallion? Maybe on a merry go round.

I’d love to hear more of your favorites, post them below, or send them on to the Malaphors site.



2 thoughts on “Word Funnies, Part 2: Malaphors

  1. I have two that have stayed with me for years:

    1. In a conversation I overheard in a coffee shop, one person was telling another how inexperienced a certain person was. He said, “He’s still green behind the ears,” mixing up the term “green” and “wet behind the ears.”

    2. In a diner, I overheard this fellow in a gruff tone describe a horrendous automobile accident a friend of his had gotten into. In describing his visit to the hospital, he recounted his friend’s situation: “He was in terrible shape; he couldn’t move or speak or nothin’. He’s a vegetarian.” Obviously, meaning “vegetable.”

    Liked by 1 person

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