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


malaphor (plural malaphors)

  1. (rare) An idiom blend: an error in which two similar figures of speech are merged, producing an often nonsensical result.
    Synonym: Dundrearyism
    Coordinate term: mixed metaphor
    • 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."