Posted by ESC on January 14, 2000
In Reply to: Mixing phrases posted by ESC on January 14, 2000
: : Let sleeping giants lie.
: : Up a gum tree without a paddle.
: : What is the name for these mixed up phrases?
: You've buttered your bread, now sleep in it. I'll burn that bridge when I come to it. Malapropisms means mixing up up similar words. But I don't think that's what you're going for.
Then again, maybe it is. Here are a couple of web sites:
What the heck is a malapropism? The dictionary defines it as "a
humorous misuse of a word or phrase" and "use of a word sounding
like the one intended, but ludicrously wrong in context". You've
probably heard someone speak a malapropism before, but just didn't
know it. For example, "It's cast in stone" is a common malapropism;
it's a mixture of the two correct expressions "It's cast in concrete"
and "It's carved in stone". Both of the correct expressions mean
that something cannot be changed. But the expression "It's cast
in stone" conveys the meaning, but is grammatically incorrect; you
can't cast anything in stone!
Another site http://www.iea.com/%7Edgookin/malaprop.htm Malapropisms: Named after the character Miss Malaprop in Sheridan's comedy The Rivals, a malapropism is any well-intended saying that takes on a different and often ludicrous meaning when a similar yet utterly inappropriate word is used.