Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dog Metaphors 1, Gardening Metaphors 0

Cartoon of a guy being bitten in the butt by a dogYou never know when a new malapropism will come into your life. Today on a phone call, someone told me he hoped we could "nip the problem in the butt."

I managed not to laugh until I finished the call.

But damned if I don't find 38,000 instances of that phrase in Google (vs. 900,000 instances for "nip it in the bud").

When did this happen? Isn't it obvious that "nip it in the butt" makes no sense, if the idea is to stop something before it starts? Nipping something in the butt would make it go faster, I would think, as it tries to get away from the little nipper.

I guess there's just no reasoning with Mrs. Malaprop.


Michael Leddy said...

"I guess there's just no reasoning with Mrs. Malaprop."

Or her countless college-age children.

Carmella said...

Well, you know which one I favor!

CCMA said...

Well, if the idea is already out there, then you need to "nip it in the butt" so it goes away...quickly.