Amusing Mixed Metaphor

Audiendus
Senior Lexiterian
Posts: 791
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 6:08 pm
Location: London, UK

Amusing Mixed Metaphor

Postby Audiendus » Mon Sep 06, 2021 1:06 am

I read this recently:

"It will be necessary to push the boat out to keep everyone on board."

(i.e. it will be necessary to spend generously to ensure continued co-operation)

Two different nautical metaphors, absurdly juxtaposed!

User avatar
Slava
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 6783
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:31 am
Location: Finger Lakes, NY

Re: Amusing Mixed Metaphor

Postby Slava » Mon Sep 06, 2021 7:09 am

"Push the boat out" is new to me. I don't get it, either. Keeping people on board makes sense, but this...? Anyone know what it's getting at? :?:
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.

Audiendus
Senior Lexiterian
Posts: 791
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 6:08 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Amusing Mixed Metaphor

Postby Audiendus » Tue Sep 07, 2021 2:36 am

"Push the boat out" is a British saying, meaning "to be lavish in one's celebrations or spending". (It does not refer to celebrations in this instance.)

David Myer
Senior Lexiterian
Posts: 849
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:21 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: Amusing Mixed Metaphor

Postby David Myer » Fri Nov 19, 2021 2:58 am

I have always enjoyed mixed metaphors.

This is the thin end of the carrot.

And so on.

And I came across this nice one last week in an email from The Greens political party.

This in an email from The Greens:
Vice-chancellors are earning millions while students are funneled through like cash cows.
I am not sure quite what a cash cow looks like, but I suspect it would take some funnel not to clog. They might as soon pass through the eye of a needle.

David

Audiendus
Senior Lexiterian
Posts: 791
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 6:08 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Amusing Mixed Metaphor

Postby Audiendus » Sun Dec 05, 2021 3:16 am

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it clean the Augean stables, and you can't flog a dead horse after the stable door is bolted.

Audiendus
Senior Lexiterian
Posts: 791
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 6:08 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Amusing Mixed Metaphor

Postby Audiendus » Tue Jan 25, 2022 2:52 am

You have to take the bull in the china shop by the horns.
I am trying to keep the wolf in sheep's clothing from the door.
You're skating on a sticky wicket.
Six of the best and half a dozen of the other.
The dogs of war have come home to roost.
Some people have their heart on their sleeve; others have their heart in their mouth.
His hopes were dashed in one fell swoop of the dice.
If you make a monkey of him, he'll go bananas.
Put your money where your mouth is and pull your finger out.
Don't take a sledgehammer to crack a joke.
The early bird opens a can of worms.
He was afraid that if he put his head on the block, he would lose face.
Rugby didn't interest me, so my classmates sent me to Coventry.
Hold your tongue and put a sock in it!
He was jumping up and down like a Jack of all trades.
We shouldn't act like sheep; we should stand up and be counted.
What goes up must come down; it's not rocket science.
Jesus is your brother, God's your father, and Bob's your uncle.
Forgive those who trespass against us, give us our daily bread, and let them eat cake.

Audiendus
Senior Lexiterian
Posts: 791
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 6:08 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Amusing Mixed Metaphor

Postby Audiendus » Tue Feb 01, 2022 2:09 am

The proof of the pudding is the acid test.
A rose by any other name would lead us up the garden path.
We have released the genie from Pandora's box.
Those who live by the Sword of Damocles shall die by it too.
Too many cooks spoil the ship for a ha'porth of tar.
Birds of a feather put all their eggs in one basket.
Curiosity killed the cat on the hot tin roof.
When the cat's among the pigeons, the mice will play.
The salesman sang the car's praises, but I didn't like his tone.
You can't have your cake and eat it, but you can save it for a rainy day.
She has her head in the clouds and her feet firmly on the ground.
It seemed like manna from heaven, but it was just pie in the sky.
There's a long hard road ahead, but we're all in the same boat.
Heartburn is a pain in the neck.
Put your money where your mouth is, because money talks.
A good batsman can drive a slow bowler to the edge, and pull a fast one.
I am on the horns of a quandary.
Don't count your chickens before they come home to roost.
Our years are numbered, and threescore and ten is par for the course.

David Myer
Senior Lexiterian
Posts: 849
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:21 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: Amusing Mixed Metaphor

Postby David Myer » Fri Feb 04, 2022 6:45 am

Some good ones in there. I particularly like
"We shouldn't act like sheep; we should stand up and be counted".

Well done.

David Myer
Senior Lexiterian
Posts: 849
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:21 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: Amusing Mixed Metaphor

Postby David Myer » Wed Feb 23, 2022 7:46 am

We haven't responded to Slava's question about pushing the boat out. I assume the point is that pushing a boat out is pretty hard work. So this one, which was widely used in UK when I was growing up in the 50s and 60s, is all about making an effort to achieve what we want. It usually referred to making a financial effort in the way of an incentive to get someone to do something we want them to. If you want a journalist to divulge her (these days it is, hideously, 'their') source, you may have to push the boat out.

Audiendus
Senior Lexiterian
Posts: 791
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 6:08 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Amusing Mixed Metaphor

Postby Audiendus » Sat Apr 09, 2022 9:38 am

There's no such thing as a free lunch, unless it's manna from heaven.
If you can't sleep at night, it's time to call it a day.
Don't take a sledgehammer to crack a nut; use your loaf.
I wasn't trying to twist your arm - I was just pulling your leg.
Don't kick a gift horse in the teeth.
If you're looking for a needle in a haystack, don't beat about the bush.
No man is an island, but in Britain one island is Man.
A little bird told me, straight from the horse's mouth.
If you don't stick to your plan, you'll come unstuck.
Don't change horses in midstream and get on your high horse.
She is burning the midnight candle at both ends.
To be or not to be - that is the 64,000 dollar question.
Don't shut the stable door after you've let the cat out of the bag.
I couldn't think of an answer off the top of my head, so I put my thinking cap on.
I ran out of steam, and that took the wind out of my sails.
If you pick my brains, I'll give you a piece of my mind.
The education minister said that if schools didn't teach the Bible, he'd throw the book at them.

Audiendus
Senior Lexiterian
Posts: 791
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 6:08 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Amusing Mixed Metaphor

Postby Audiendus » Sun Apr 17, 2022 9:33 am

He shot himself in the foot, and now he hasn't got a leg to stand on.
He shot himself in the foot and kicked the bucket.
He's only a dogsbody, but he thinks he's the cat's whiskers.
I injured my Achilles heel.
Don't let them soft-soap you with a lot of eyewash.
I can't bear it when I have to carry the can.
I'm hanging around on tenterhooks.
I can't walk on water, but I can give you a run for your money.
The captain showed his true colours and nailed them to the mast.
She has an axe to grind, but she's got the wrong end of the stick.
He has a heart of gold, iron will, and brass neck.
The pot called the kettle black, but that was a different kettle of fish.
I told her to get on her bike, but she took it the wrong way.
When he says he's down in the dumps, he's talking rubbish.
My plan was to strike while the iron was hot, but they poured cold water on it.
Where there's muck there's brass, and it will all come out in the wash.
Let's cut the cackle and talk turkey.

bnjtokyo
Lexiterian
Posts: 276
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:16 pm

Re: Amusing Mixed Metaphor

Postby bnjtokyo » Sun Apr 17, 2022 7:17 pm

"I injured my Achilles heel" is not a mixed metaphor but could be a simple statement of fact. It happened to a friend of mine and it took surgery to repair it. It also happened to me once; it was called "squeaky heel" and is actually an inflamed Achilles tendon (tendonitis). It was most unpleasant and made it hard to walk; it took a couple of weeks to resolve itself. And of course it is literally what happened to Achilles himself as reported by Arctinus in his "Aethiopis."

Audiendus
Senior Lexiterian
Posts: 791
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 6:08 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Amusing Mixed Metaphor

Postby Audiendus » Tue May 24, 2022 10:30 am

If you shoot your mouth off, you'll be laughing on the other side of your face.
I was pumping iron and he was swinging the lead.
The fly in the ointment is in the eye of the beholder.
An apple a day is food for thought.
I'm up a creek without a paddle, but we're all in the same boat.
It's women and children first, and every man for himself.
When separating the sheep from the goats, beware of the wolf in sheep's clothing.
Don't invest in schemes that will cost you an arm and a leg – you'll be paying through the nose.
I'm going to lay my cards on the table and call a spade a spade.
We're all singing from the same hymn sheet, but we're not all on the same page.
They treat me as a whipping boy, but they don't give me a fair crack of the whip.
I've been taken to the cleaners and hung out to dry.
The burglar was acting alone, but the police made a drama out of it.
Some early Christians spoke in tongues, but the New Testament was all Greek to them.
The culprit was caught red-handed with the evidence: it was an open and shut case.
It was a storm in a teacup, but it caused a stir.

Audiendus
Senior Lexiterian
Posts: 791
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 6:08 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Amusing Mixed Metaphor

Postby Audiendus » Sun Jun 26, 2022 2:15 am

Needs must where the devil drives, but the world is going to hell in a handcart.
It's all a bit fishy – you have to take it with a pinch of salt.
I give you my word, but I don't want to put words into your mouth.
My gambit was a last throw of the dice, and it came up trumps.
He's putting a gun to my head and rubbing my nose in it.
She was speaking with a forked tongue in her cheek.
Humpty Dumpty sat on the fence and fell between two stools.
You're looking for a needle in a haystack, but don't take it out on me.
If you bury your head in the sand, you'll bite the dust.
I have the sword of Damocles around my neck.


Return to “Idioms”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests