Monday, August 17, 2009

Flips of the Tongue = Conflations

Collage of a red devil's head immersed in a serving of chocolate puddingReaders who are familiar with my past posts about flips of the tongue won't be surprised to hear me laughing at my most recent discovery on the web: (Thanks to a Tweet by thatwhichmatter.

The site compiles examples where two idioms have been smashed together, with the express purpose of encouraging people to use the conflated expressions.

Rather than seeing these head-on-collisions as a problem, believes that "Idiom conflation is a poetic art with a purpose. It is possible to dramatically re-contextualize words, or to simply combine commonplace expressions in a completely perfunctory manner."

The conflations are broken into two lists, based on whether the two root idioms originally had the same meaning or not (labeled congruent and incongruent). The lists are long, and you can submit your own, or try to come up with new ones.

Here are a few of my favorites.


Screwed me under the bus
You hit the nose on the head
Like shooting cake in the park
Nobody's human
That tastes like my alley
When in Rome, join 'em.
Que sera la vie
Every dog has his fifteen minutes


Throw your towel into the ring
Under the dumps
Shoot yourself to spite your face
Steam your wild oats
Preaching to a dead horse
The devil's in the pudding
Don't judge a sheep by its clothing
I have too many eggs on my plate

Don't laugh too hard. I personally vow to begin using "know-it-pants" and "that tastes like my alley" as often as possible.

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