Posted by: Jack Henry | January 5, 2021

Editor’s Corner: Start Your New Year with a Smile

Good morning folks, and happy new year! I was hoping to do something fun with words today, so I paged through the book He Smokes Like a Fish and Other Malaphors, by David Hatfield, to see if there was something light I could share with you. Just to remind you, a malaphor is an unintentional blend of sayings or idioms, such as “I have it on the tip of my hand,” which mixes “on the tip of my tongue,” with “tip my hand.”

The author explains where each one comes from, but I decided not to include that because I want this to be entertaining rather than a lesson on clichés or an explanation of idioms you already know.

Here are the malaphors I enjoyed most from his book.

  • Let’s roll up our elbows and get to work
  • You wash my back; I’ll wash yours
  • Rule with an iron thumb
  • He deals out of both ends of his mouth
  • This is a perfect example of the frying pan calling the kettle black
  • Hit the ground flying
  • He was born with a silver foot in his mouth
  • Till the cows come home from Capistrano
  • Off on a sour foot
  • I’ll chew his brain a little bit down the road
  • They’re just a bunch of bean pushers
  • It’s music to my eyes
  • You have a long road to climb
  • She should face the piper
  • He’s just an old stick in the poke
  • I’m as happy as a clam in clover
  • He’s three sheets in the bag
  • Let’s float a carrot
  • The last book I read was a real page burner
  • That’s the way the cookie bounces
  • That’s a real ball of worms
  • There’s no time to waste like the present
  • I don’t want to toot my own hat
  • Better safe than never

Have a great day!

Kara Church

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Technical Editor, Advisory

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Editing: Symitar Documentation Services

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