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EnglishEdit

Examples

"Too many chefs in too many pies" (from "too many chefs spoil the broth" and "one finger in too many pies");
"it's like stabbing a hole in the dark" (from "a stab in the dark" and "hole in the dark");
"stop pissing on my thunder" (from "stop stealing my thunder" and "stop pissing on my chips");
"we'll burn that bridge when we get to it" (from "we'll cross that bridge when we get to it" and "don't burn your bridges").

EtymologyEdit

Blend of malapropism +‎ metaphor; attributed to Lawrence Harrison in the Washington Post article "Searching for Malaphors" (Aug. 6, 1976).

NounEdit

malaphor (plural malaphors)

  1. (rare) An idiom blend: an error in which two similar figures of speech are merged, producing an often nonsensical result.
    • 1977, Benefit Payments Report, California Dept. of Benefit Payments, Health and Welfare Agency, OCLC 11733212, page 5:
      What I conclude from this admittedly narrow data base is that, while the malaphor flourishes in bureaucratic compost, it will grow just about anywhere. The following malaphors are my pick of the letters. They were uttered in the home, on the farm, in the street.
    • 2012, George Michael Killenberg, Public Affairs Reporting Now: News of, by and for the People, Taylor & Francis:
      Among Swift's favorite malaphors are "He's a ragged individualist"; "I was up at the crank of dawn"; and "He's a fly in the oatmeal."

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