Favorite malapropisms

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scouter
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Favorite malapropisms

Post by scouter » Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:19 pm

The thread about grammar pet peeves reminded me of a great old friend I worked with. He grew up in Texas and picked up a lot of his vocabulary from others, not always hearing and learning words correctly. His versions were usually better than the originals, and always funnier. We would have to bite our lips when he said one, as we didn’t want to embarrass him by laughing. Some of his best:

“…there was a tree where all these different types of birds would conjugate…”

“…you know, the blonde actress, that real volumptuous girl…”

‘I can’t say for sure, but I’ve got a stinkin’ suspicion…”

“…anything your mind can condor up…”

“Ever notice how many obeast people you see at amusement parks?”

“They had a rec room with hardwood floors and naughty pine walls.”

“We’ve been home for awhile, but right now we’re out on a three-week stench.”

“Things will get better. You gotta keep a stiff upper chin…”

“The army is all about technology now. They use those high philosophy bullets.”

“That dinner club don’t look like much, but Liverace played there…”

“Hey, I’ve got an ideal…”

“I try to keep some spontinuity in my life.”

Anybody else got any favorites?

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empb
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Post by empb » Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:24 pm

Was playing trivia at a local pizza place once. The question: "What was the last line in MLK's 'I Have A Dream' speech?". The guy on my team with the pen, the captain if you will, wrote: "Thank God Almighty. Free at least."

EDIT: Got a hearty chuckle out of 'spontinuity'!

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Post by yobria » Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:31 pm

Reminds me of a guy on a recent thread that said he needed to "liquefy" his investments.

I thought he was mistaken, until he mentioned the assets were frozen. :)

Nick

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Post by jebmke » Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:45 pm

Talking head on NPR about 10 days ago in the midst of the debt ceiling debate: "we are walking on uncharted water here."
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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Post by yobria » Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:52 pm

jebmke wrote:Talking head on NPR about 10 days ago in the midst of the debt ceiling debate: "we are walking on uncharted water here."
That is exactly how Jesus got lost...

Nick

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Post by nisiprius » Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:55 pm

For some of the original malapropisms, see Sheridan's 1775 play, The Rivals, in which the character Mrs. Malaprop says things like

"She's as headstrong as an allegory on the banks of the Nile."

"I would by no means wish a daughter of mine to be a progeny of learning."

"Oh! it gives me the hydrostatics to such a degree.—I thought she had persisted from corresponding with him; but, behold, this very day, I have interceded another letter from the fellow; I believe I have it in my pocket."
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Post by jebmke » Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:02 pm

yobria wrote:
jebmke wrote:Talking head on NPR about 10 days ago in the midst of the debt ceiling debate: "we are walking on uncharted water here."
That is exactly how Jesus got lost...

Nick
that was before GPS and depthsounders.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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dm200
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Post by dm200 » Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:03 pm

The female members of Archie Bunker's family would see a "groinocologist" for female medical issues.

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Post by scouter » Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:25 pm

dm200 wrote:The female members of Archie Bunker's family would see a "groinocologist" for female medical issues.
I remember Archie didn't want Mike and Gloria to be married by a Catholic priest. He didn't want someone "speaking a bunch of Latin mumbo-jumbo and sprinkling incest on everybody."

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Post by dm200 » Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:42 pm

scouter wrote:
dm200 wrote:The female members of Archie Bunker's family would see a "groinocologist" for female medical issues.
I remember Archie didn't want Mike and Gloria to be married by a Catholic priest. He didn't want someone "speaking a bunch of Latin mumbo-jumbo and sprinkling incest on everybody."
Archie also referred to Jews who were very "religious" as "off-the docks" Jews.

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Post by jives » Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:04 pm

My 13 year old son actually said one today that I found kinda funny.

We were driving down the highway and there was a black '80s model cadillac up on the right.

When we passed it he said "Oh, I thought that car was a hearst."

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Re: Favorite malapropisms

Post by JupiterJones » Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:11 pm

My late grandmother was tellilng a story once about a guy at the country club who started choking, but he turned out okay because "they gave him the hemlock."

scouter wrote: “I try to keep some spontinuity in my life.”
This one I really like. :D

JJ
Stay on target...

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dm200
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Post by dm200 » Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:17 pm

Then there are the ones that have become so common that the wrong term/phrase is driving out the right one.

Having grown up on a farm, I literally have experienced a "tough row to hoe" many, many times. BUT, the often stated "tough road to hoe" grates on my because you do not hoe a road!

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Post by Tadpole » Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:26 pm

I grew up in the MS Delta and used many of these. I am not sure whether this originated with my family or I just didn't pick up the words properly when I was a baby. But no one teased me or corrected me. Most disappeared over the years but there is still one I have to stop and think about before I use the word. That word is comfortable. I cannot say it without thinking and have always said comfterful. (I tried to spell it as it sounds.)

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Post by dm200 » Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:53 pm

For those who have encountered a strong Baltimore, Maryland way of speaking, there are a lot of interesting words and phrases. Of course, start with the city "BalMer".

The church that a large number of folks are members of is the "Calf Lick" church.

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Post by cinghiale » Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:02 pm

Great thread! I grew up in a family that had some doozies.

One uncle insisted that Marco Poco brought pasta to Italy from China.

During the O.J. Simpson trial in the mid-1990s, one family member was concerned about the composition of the jury, as there "were lots of women and African Americans, but very few Corsicans."

On the work front: A few years ago, a student complained (on paper) that she was unhappy because her boyfriend was "taking her for granite."
"We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are." Anais Nin | | "Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious." George Orwell

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dm200
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Post by dm200 » Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:08 pm

"Then came the Middle Ages. King Alfred conquered the Dames, King Arthur lived in the Age of Shivery, King Harold mustered his troops before the Battle of Hastings. Joan of Arc was cannonized by Bernard Shaw, and victims of the Black Death grew boobs on their necks. Finally, Magna Carta provided that no man should be hanged twice for the same offense."

"The Renaissance was an age in which more individuals felt the value of their human being. Martin Luther was nailed to the church door at Wittenberg for selling papal indulgences. He died a horrible death, being excommunicated by a bull. It was the painter Donatello's interest in the female nude that made him the father of the Renaissance. It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Guttenberg invented the Bible. Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes. Another important invention was the circulation of blood. Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100-foot clipper."

"The government of England was a limited mockery. Henry VIII found it difficult to walk because he had an abbess on his knee. Queen Elizabeth was the "Virgin Queen." As a queen she was a success. When Elizabeth exposed herself before her troops they all shouted "hurrah." Then her navy went out and defeated the Spanish Armadillo."

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Post by rylemdr » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:43 pm

cinghiale wrote: One uncle insisted that Marco Poco brought pasta to Italy from China.
That's funny, but the Chinese did invent pasta first. :D

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John151
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Favorite malapropisms

Post by John151 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:07 am

During a discussion of the next year's budget, a City Council member said, "We need to have more physical restraint."

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that's a horse of a different feather

Post by rocket » Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:06 am

that's a horse of a different feather

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Post by ClaireTN » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:35 am

My mother-in-law thinks she buys her bras at "Victorian Secrets."

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Post by gawellman » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:25 am

Former co-worker: "A bird in the hand is worth two on the foot."

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Post by JupiterJones » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:28 am

Remembered another: I knew a guy who was once griping about how much it cost to replace his car's "Cadillac converter". :P

JJ
Stay on target...

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Post by yobria » Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:10 pm

cinghiale wrote:On the work front: A few years ago, a student complained (on paper) that she was unhappy because her boyfriend was "taking her for granite."
Boy, that'll chisel away at your self esteem...

NIck

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Post by empb » Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:23 pm

yobria wrote:
cinghiale wrote:On the work front: A few years ago, a student complained (on paper) that she was unhappy because her boyfriend was "taking her for granite."
Boy, that'll chisel away at your self esteem...

NIck
Cing: what was your counter-reply?

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Post by House Blend » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:11 pm

Conan the Bavarian.

(Works best if you are aware that Ahnold Schwarzenegger played Conan in the movie versions.)

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Post by lawman3966 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:31 pm

I don't know how to read; I'm illegitimate.

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Post by bac573 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:46 pm

I'm nearly 40, and up until just a few years ago (and several years after my own wedding), I always thought the saying was "with this ring, I be wed". My wife never lets me forget that. In fact, we were at a wedding ceremony this past weekend, and when the bride and groom repeated the (correct) line, my wife squeezed my hand and started quietly laughing.
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Post by Ktemene » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:43 am

John Major: Sometimes, when your back is to the wall, you just have to turn around and fight.

Can't give name: Sometimes you just have to sh*t or get off the fan.

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Post by MekongTrader » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:01 am

Recently in my office:

Me: Strange smell in here. Don't you think so?
Co-worker: I can't hear the smell

:roll:

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Post by tokyoleone » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:14 am

Not sure if this true or not: After WW2 General McArthur, who was the supreme commander in Japan, developed quite a few admirers among the Japanese. Supposedly, many of them wanted him to run in the presidential election and put up a large banner in the Ginza area of Tokyo with this slogan:

"We pray for McArthur's erection"

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Post by scouter » Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:49 am

Ktemene wrote:John Major: Sometimes, when your back is to the wall, you just have to turn around and fight.

Can't give name: Sometimes you just have to sh*t or get off the fan.
Great!!!

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dm200
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Post by dm200 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:09 am

True story. Kid (3rd or 4th grade) told me he knew "The Lord's Prayer". It bagan,

"Our Father, who aren't in Heaven"

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cinghiale
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Post by cinghiale » Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:09 am

"Our Father, who aren't in Heaven,"

Doesn't that prayer continue with:

"Harold be thy name."
"We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are." Anais Nin | | "Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious." George Orwell

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Post by HFWR » Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:13 am

dm200 wrote:True story. Kid (3rd or 4th grade) told me he knew "The Lord's Prayer". It bagan,

"Our Father, who aren't in Heaven"
RIP, John Hartford

From "The Lowest Pair"

"Now, First thing, is to say this:

Much further out than inevitable
Halloween's thy game
Sky King has come
& Wilma's done
Uncertain as it is Uneven

Give us today hors d'œuvre's in bed
As we forgive those who have dressed up against us
And need us not enter inflation
But our liver, onions, & potatoes.

For wine is a shingle, and amore, and a story for your father.
Allright."

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Post by Ted Valentine » Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:20 am

The other day my 5 year old son and I went to get some sub sandwiches. It just so happened that he had recently had a "sub" (substitute) teacher in his class.

He remarked to me, "Dad I like these substitute sandwiches"
Although our intellect always longs for clarity and certainty, our nature often finds uncertainty fascinating.

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Post by cinghiale » Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:27 am

empb asked:
Cing: what was your counter-reply?
None. For all the time I have written pointed comments in the margins of papers, that one time I just didn't have the heart.


yobria wrote:
Boy, that'll chisel away at your self esteem...
Nick, That's really bad. I suspect that you are out there punning without a license.
"We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are." Anais Nin | | "Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious." George Orwell

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dm200
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Post by dm200 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:37 am

Of course, we have the esteemed honor for the recipient of this international honor:

The Pullet Surprise

With a farm and poultry background as a child, I used to wonder why they named an international award for a chicken.

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Post by scouter » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:54 pm

A friend of mine says his wife has uttered these two-

"You can dish it, but you sure can't take it out."

and

"Oh yeah, how much you wanna make a bet?"

also:

"A Hard Day's Night" was a Ringo malapropism. The Beatles were working on the untitled film, and as they walked out in the wee hours, Ringo muttered, "It's been a hard day's night." John Lennon asked "What did you say?" Ringo repeated it and Lennon immediately went to the director to tell them they had the movie's title. The director said, "Well, that's a good one, but we'll need a song by that title, too." They all went home, and Lennon walked back in the next morning and sang for them the new song.

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Post by runthetrails » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:39 pm

I had a former boss who was always talking about the 'physical year'.

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Post by Skiffy » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:01 pm

I have a clueless coworker, who in a written report stated, that she had visited an order less nursing home (she meant odorless)

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Post by Stevewc » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:11 pm

dm200 wrote:Then there are the ones that have become so common that the wrong term/phrase is driving out the right one.

Having grown up on a farm, I literally have experienced a "tough row to hoe" many, many times. BUT, the often stated "tough road to hoe" grates on my because you do not hoe a road!
One of the funniest and somewhat dirty stories I ever heard my grandmother tell.
She and a lady that lived near her would hoe cotton at times to make a little money.
One day one of the young kids ask them which one was the best hoe-er.
My grandmother answered, your mom is the best but I'm probably the biggest. :lol:
Only off color thing I ever heard her say.
I guess it was so funny she couldn't help her self.
Last edited by Stevewc on Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by sandstorm » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:13 pm

Warren Harding spoke of adhesion to a treaty.

Only Yesterday, Frederick Lewis Allen

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Post by Mitchell777 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:34 pm

From an executive at my former employer "The stalemate in Washington is at an impasse"

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Post by ddelapasse » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:40 pm

A coworker wrote that he was having a meeting to "clearify" an issue. We still use that word :-).

Another coworker from Sweden keeps me entertained:

"I'm just talking out loud here"
"It was the straw that hurt the camel"

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Re: Favorite malapropisms

Post by Rodc » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:54 pm

JupiterJones wrote:My late grandmother was tellilng a story once about a guy at the country club who started choking, but he turned out okay because "they gave him the hemlock."

scouter wrote: “I try to keep some spontinuity in my life.”
This one I really like. :D

JJ
My daughter when young used to call the heimlich maneuver the "heimlich remover". :)

Hey, it fits!
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Post by Kulak » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:09 pm

sandstorm wrote:Warren Harding spoke of adhesion to a treaty.
I had to stop and think about whether that one's actually incorrect usage -- one does "adhere" to a treaty, so logically, why is "adhesion" barred?

A related one I hear sometimes from prole types is the verb adhede: "You gotta heat it up first to get it to adhede to it." :D

Question, though: If you create a non-word by misapplying a rule like that (vs. misusing a real word), is it still a malapropism or is it called something else?

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Post by livesoft » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:19 pm

MekongTrader wrote:Recently in my office:

Me: Strange smell in here. Don't you think so?
Co-worker: I can't hear the smell

:roll:
Something similar happened in Ghostbusters.
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Post by Rodc » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:43 pm

livesoft wrote:
MekongTrader wrote:Recently in my office:

Me: Strange smell in here. Don't you think so?
Co-worker: I can't hear the smell

:roll:
Something similar happened in Ghostbusters.
Kind of interesting, but there are people who see sounds and such so there may be people who hear smells. Some people are (cross) wired so these senses have an interplay that most of us don't have.
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.

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Post by livesoft » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:57 pm

And of course YouTube has a clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cmy-4QC0U0g
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