Section 1: Idioisms by me

                        Section 2: Idioisms from others

                        Section 3: Oxymorons

                        Section 4: Oxygenius

                        Section 5: Endangered words

                        Section 6: Malaprop aphorisms

                        Section 7: Whimsical Names



Idioisms                                                              (Back to top)

An "idioism" is an expression that an individual coins on his or her own. Here's a list of mine. Some may be reinventions of terms already used. If you have some of your own that you'd like to contribute, send them via the email link below.
Email me:



a self-coined expression or idiom


dishware that chips easily


pronouncement for an unpleasant situation that cannot be avoided (ironic replacement for "so be it")


hypothetical Indian tribe, always a day late and a dollar short


alternative for "excellent"


alternative and presumably somewhat better than "tuna fish"

The complaint department is Upstairs

complain to God, not to me


Spanglish expletive for a computer that's being a bitch ("puta")

The right way, the wrong way and "Nancy's way"

variant on "the Army way" used to denote the inscrutability of my wife's decisions


disparaging term for menopause, implying loss of mental power

There will always be mosquitoes

in any situation there will be some factor that can be annoying if you let yourself focus on it. Seeking to remove every last source of annoyance in an attempt to create perfect happiness is counter-productive.

The clock just keeps going around

response to early risers who place value on starting early in the morning

My noise is better than your noise

tendency to overlook the irritating effect of one's own disruptive behavior as compared to similar activity performed by others

My shit is better than your shit

tendency to value one's own possessions above the possessions of others

A shave, a shower and a shit

bathroom preparations before going out

Opposites subtract

play on "opposites attract" connoting the tendency of opposite personalities to be unable to act productively or to move forward coherently.

Use your magic

magic refers to items that would tend to attract or interest others. Don't be too careful in trying to preserve these items as their useful days are numbered.

It only takes a second

accidents happen fast, recovery is slow

Good parent, bad parent

play on "good cop, bad cop", refering the tendency to see ourselves as the good, nurturing parent while our spouses behavior is seen as destructive to the child

Focus on what is

talk about events and feelings that actually exist, not your regrets about what's missing.

The Bother Squad

a person who is being annoying

The Floor Index

measure of how much clutter is on the floor of a room

The Dirt Curve

graph plotting of how dirt accumulates in a house over time

Let's go, Cisco

get a move on, let's get out of here

Edible and eaten

referring to a wild mushroom that is a good edible, but is thoroughly riddled with insect larvae.


phenonena of singing outdoors and having the birds join in

American chopped sewage

variation of American chopped suey, with the connotation that the dish is not appetizing.

Air time

the amount (fraction) of time one person gets in contributing to a conversation [appears to be a term in usage already]

Save the Mosquito Society

facetious society of those who (reluctantly) contribute blood to keep mosquitoes florishing


exclamation referring to a disgusting mess or object


an excessively slow driver (esp. just ahead of you)

Conservation of creepdom

tendency that when one slowpoke driver ahead of you turns off, another slowpoke turns in as a replacement

There's a lot to be said for cloning

desire to be at more than one place at the same time

Two thumbs sideways

variant on Siskal and Ebert's two thumbs up (down) used to denote an emphatic middling review

Just like Starbuck's, but without the coffee

said of airline coffee or any seriously understrength cup

An expensive bus ride

refers to airplane trip connoting the lack of service and unpleasant human factors

Our Lady of Sucrose

appellation for a sugar addict (e.g.Nancy)

Sick cow

applied to a mal-functioning computer, you can see it's in pain but it gives you no indication where speicifically the problem is

Confuse and conquer

achieving one's ends via bamboozling with a blizzard of complications (e.g. a cell-phone company's terms)

Human instinct to block doorways

people tend to hesitate at doorways, impeding traffic flow

Human instinct to block food-tables

people tend to linger around food-table, preventing access by others

Shit city

a messy house

Shit central

a messy house


a messy house

Miss Information

a woman who consistently supplies wrong information

Schleper colony

people who like to carry (schlep) gaggles of unruly bags

Shuffle the shit

move the mess from one place to another, without organizing it or throwing anything away

Relatively good time

time spent with relatives

In one head and out the other

variation on in on ear and out the other, emphasizing the lack of mental attention or capacity

There's always a lost sheep

in any effort to organize a large number of items there will always be at least one that requires special attention

Don't panic yet

calm down (because there's still time left before you truly need to panic)

Panic mode

(e.g. go into "panic mode") state characterized by unnecessary panic

Friend boy

male who is a friend of a female (in distinction to a romantic boy-friend)

Friend girl

female who is a friend of a male (in distinction to a romantic girl-friend)

If you try to irritate people, you just might succeed

warning to a person who confuses being irritating with being amusing

There's a lot to be said for cloning

admission that one is so over-loaded with activities to do that having surrogate selves would be beneficial


a mean person (said playfully)

Dance junkie

said of Dance Friday regulars, who need to participate in dancing almost as an addiction


to get ones way through use of guilt

A.D.D. mode

behavioral pattern characterized by impatience and obsessional focus on a particular need at the moment

Nuclear density

extremely dense concentration of people or material

Don't fight the logic

maxim for programmers to solve problems via clean deisgn rather than using deeply nested logical contigencies that handle a multitude of special cases


a place or event that is characterized by an over-surplus of babies


in a position where you're totally stuck and without options (from the chess term "zugswang", a completely cramped, defensive position from which any move is detrimental, yet some move must be made)

Highly true

used to assert something being true, but in an overblown way for comic effect

Standard delay

the amount of time by which a specified person is typical late, the idea being that one should inherently adjust for this in judging the person's punctuality

An expensive cab ride

a meeting with many high paid employees, refering to the high burn rate of dollar wages at such meetings

Persistence of ignorance

a propensity of some people to hold on to their misconceptions in spite of what should be convincing evidence to the contrary. Roughly equivalent to "none so blind as those who will not see"

Ugly colors

jarring colors employed by some artists to create an effect of discord or repugnance

Intentionally underdeveloped

descriptive of towns that have preserved open space and resisted commercial development against the economic forces that would normally produce more commercial and residential development

It's spring and the skunk cabbage is in full bloom

humorous acknowledgment that spring brings not only the conventionally beautiful flowers

The crocuses are croaking

facetious expression for the excitement of the early-spring blooming of crocuses

Medium burnt

facetious expression describing food that has been burnt (in analogy with "medium rare" or "medium well")

Saint Elsewhere's Disease

personality trait characterized by the desire to be sowewhere else or with someone else then the current one


imaginary place of punishment and/or great distance, as in "One more comment like that and I'll send you to Swavobia"

The Narrows

any passageway in a house that is made dysfunctionally narrow by placing furnature or objects that restrict passage

Hearse (and rehearse)

an initial rehearsal (and contiuned rehearsal)

Broom and rug job

a problem best handled through concealment and not worth the effort of actually addressing directly

Fight shit with shit

when bureaucrats ask for overly burdensome documentation, reply by sending them an inpenetrable maze of paperwork that appears to address their concern

The garlic cure

any dish characterized by a strong concentration of garlic; the term facetiously emphasizes the medicinal rather than the culinary

Get vertical

get up from bed


get up from bed

Reality gap

an aspect of arguing with another person in which the basic facts cannot be agreed upon; tends to degenerate into useless disputation

Dead bread

bread, like Wonderbread, that is devoid of any wholesomeness or taste


traffic that's bumper-to-bumper, only moreso

Make a plan to break a plan

tendency to make a plan and then, as a reaction, depart from the planned activity


describing entry into a mission or task without any rational hope of a successful completion e.g. out of a sense of obligation (Mexican idiom??)

A tree with a house

a small house dominated by a large tree growing next to it, emphasizing the reversal of usual roles (analagous to the tail wagging the dog, or the beard leading the head)

(Oh look!) The elves have prepared the table

sarcastic expression used toward loafers (e.g. teenagers) who seem unaware of the effort going into preparing an organized meal

Holy frijoles

Spanglish for Holy Mackeral

He never fails to avoid refusing to undo mistakes

example of a sentence overloaded with negations


placeholder expression substituted for someone's actual name when I can't remember it, e.g. "Hi there, whose-name-I-forget".


the feeling of not getting appreciated as much as deserved (but a step above feeling unappreciated)


a female geek


dislike of or aversion to receiving telephone calls or use of the phone


love of the use of the telephone


introverted, opposite of "outgoing"


combining Hawaian and Irish attributes, typically an unpalatable mix, e.g. potatoes with pineapples

El Senor Dad

spanglish respectful term for "father"



Fuck it, fuck it, who gives a ducat

I don't give a damn


a small amount of motion or adjustment

Land of "up"

state of being awake and out of bed


the opposite of scenic

Crisis du jour

today's crisis (when there's always a new and different one)

Do all you can, but not more than you can

when recovering from a injury, it's better to push yourself than be over protective, but know your limit

A picture is worth and 1000 words, and the real thing is worth 1000 pictures

in trying to understand a machine or device there's nothing as good a having the real item in front of you to study

Number one wife

facetious expression for one's wife (irony between the supposed exalted status of being number one and the implication that there are other wives)

There are many more ways for things to go wrong than to go right

systems can fail in many, many ways, making it all but impossible to anticipate every mode in which a system can fail

Four penny rule

in transactions involving small change, one always seems to be one penny short of the number needed, resulting in having four pennies at the end

Butter abuse

slovenly use of butter in cooking and/or storage

Parent abuse

mean behavior toward parents from their child or children

Married singles

those who are married but who socialize typically as singles


language as spoken by a drunkard (who's "tied one on")

Al Bano

pronounced Al Banyo, spanglish for the bathroom (e.g. I'm going to visit Al Bano)

Sue Ordenes

girlfriend of Al Bano (from the Spanish idiom, "a su ordenes")

Don't worry, Murray

"Don't worry" with comic emphasis


a person specializing in giving insults, analogous to consultant


person who makes it his/her function to assess blame

Everything should be everywhere

facetiously describing a method of organization where one should never have to go to another room to get anything

A little brain surgery on the side

sarcastic expression for activity preformed with mediocre skill, but one that really requires complete mastery.

Central scare

for Central Square

Crippple you

for Kripalu Institute

I only have one lifetime to give (to this task)

said sarcastically (apologies to Nathan Hale) about an activity that is taking so long or appears to require so much time that one lifetime would not be sufficient to complete it.

Bad mudrah

combining of "bad mood" and "bad mudrah (= position)"



Collective amnesia

phenomenon in which no one present memory can recall some specific piece of information (e.g. a name)


lying on top of someone else's body with full, motionless weight

If it needs to be

facetious concurrence with another person's assertion, designed to manipulate or exculpate, but which you know to be false

The Martians did it

facetious blaming of the "Martians" when someone refuses to admit their culpabilty or attributes blame to a far-fetched cause.


Russian surname (pronounced 'son-NO-va-vich'), sounded as a disguised form of "son-of-a bitch"

He's a foremost authority, but what is he for most?

meaning is self-evident


pseudo-Italian for tremendous/excellent

I have grown, my family has grown, they will groan

description of an overly-formulaic essay sent to college admissions board

Yes sir, you are fat

play on name, Yassir Arafat

Tearer downer

home-for-sale in worse shape than a fixer upper


alternative to live-and-learn

If you don't know where you're going, you're probably not going to get there

don't expect to achieve success if you don't know what you're after

Bagel-like substance

a low quality bagel, barely worthy of the name

Traveling twit show

disfunctional group of travelers, barely capable of coordinated movement

What do you want from my blood?

what do you want from me? You're bothering me



Harry Pothead

Harry Potter (cockneye "Airy Pawt-eyd")

Can you put up with us, I mean, put us up?

request to stay as guests


one who "buys" sex


one who "tries" sex

Forward progress

meeting goal by not getting distracted or backsliding

Zone elimination method

search method to find something by making absolutely sure it is not in some zone, then moving on to the next zone

"I knew that"

know-it-all refrain applied to whatever someone else states

Clutter zone

a metaphorical, generalized zone of disorganized belongings where an item can be misplaced never (or rarely) to be found again

Mira, mira. On the wall.

Spanglish takeoff on Sleeping Beauty verse

Live a little, we deliver liver

slogan for a fictional liver specialty deli

Bit to shit

attacked by mosquitos or other insects

To ib

a fictitious "pro-verb", i.e. a place-holder verb used to stand for the previously used verb. Designed to add even more confusion to conversation. (3rd persion = ibs, past tense = ibbed)

No child's behind left behind

restatement of Bush's education plan slogan


resembling the language use of Bill Clinton, that is making overly fine distinctions


single sex college, as opposed to coed

Camp Annoya

place where people or situation is annoying

Very good, very fine

said in Spanishy accent

Untie the knot

get divorced

Take the van, Morrison

said when we use our van instead of the sedan

That's a good problem, as opposed to a bad problem

a problem that arises from having to choose among two or more good options

Blow air around

talk without substance, e.g. asserting unverifiable propositions.

Don't expect your lawyer to do your lying for you

lawyers will only present the facts in the best possible light. If you need to lie, take this responsibility on your own conscience.

Whither thou goest I will not go

said to a creepie driver at an intersection where I have a choice of 2 routes.

In one brain and out the other

referring to a person who can't seem to understand the point you're trying to make

Bum-master general

person who takes the role of bumming everyone else out, e.g. a meter maid

4M principal

Motivation by Manipulation Makes for Misery


proceeding roughly straight ahead. Straighterly is in analogy to northerly or southerly

Dame and shout

variation on "shame and doubt" implying dames create provocation resulting in shouting

Nervous Nellie's and Eager Beavers

dichotomy of road drivers into the dangerously slow and the dangerously fast

What if I'm really OK?

affirmation as a defense against hypochondria

Walking the dog- getting yourself out of the house for a much needed walk Nervous Nellies and eager beavers

world of auto drivers is divided between the crawlers and the racers

Bryn Mawr money

derisive nickname for Bryn Mawr with its high student costs


coddling college

Nobody beats the House

death will overcome all of us

(How's the) Weather inside

internal state matter more than outside weather

Let's go, beau

let's get a move on, hoeny

Fudge name

free-association name (known to be incorrect) spouted when trying to remember the real name

This, not That; A, not B

need for conceptual separation. Everything can't be a mish-mash

Wussy pillows

for pussy willows

Tough mazel

tough luck (instead of mazel tov, good luck)

"i" before "e" except after "c"

or when sounded like "ay", as in neighbor or weigh
or when sounded like "ee", as in leisure or seize
or when sounded like "iy", as in heist or height
or when sounded like "ee-yeh", as in being or deist
(note also either, neither, seeing, boeing)

stinkola juice


tell me what to do today

inverting advice, don't worry about missed opportunities

Everyone loves raisin bagels, but they're always the ones left at the end of the party

nobody really likes raisin bagels when offered a choice

It's all your'n

said when finishing up at the urinal and letting the next person have his turn

Given nothing, prove everything

said of an assignment where nothing is specified let full comprehensive analysis is expected

Who won the US-Iraqi war?


Confuse and conquer

strategy of marketers who make terms so confusing the only options are to try it out or leave it

If it needs to be

forget the facts, you'll do what you want anyway

Vanilla chords

basic musical chords (major, minor, 7th) as opposed to the more jazzy variants (sus, 9th, dim, maj7, etc.)

A mean old acid

variant on amino acid

Zeroeth approximation

not an approximation, the thing itself as perceived directly

Happiness is better than no penis at all

maxim for women?

The big W in the sky

Cassaeopia constellation

It's all your'n

said on turning over one's place at the urinal

Given nothing, prove everything

said of a task request to derive a design without giving an specifications


characterized by dislike of talking on the phone


characterized by enjoymnet of talking on the phone

If you don't get column A, then you get column B

everyone has their own set of strengths and weaknesses

To kill for

variant of "to die for", with notable change in fatal target

To die from

opposite of "to die for"

Shit on a stick

curse applied to a bad turn of event

Sometimes the closest approximation to to truth is a lie

applied when telling the truth will be so misconstrued or mis-used by the recipient that a lie better communicates the reality


a tiny amount (e.g. turn the handle a microsnitch)

Mellow as jello

very mellow

TV roulette

channel surfing

First day with the hook

a klutsy move especially near the eye

We’re all buskers now

said of the world of music performers, where payment is now essentially voluntary

Helpful killer

person whose help is unwanted and detrimental, e.g. the boy scout helping an old woman cross a street that she never wanted to cross

Food tripper

person who travels or hikes with the idea of partaking a meal in a lovely or interesting setting


someone who blows his nose in his hands and then flings the mucous away with a wrist flick (can parody it to the tune of “Goldfinger”)

Meetings R Us

overuse of group meetings at the workplace


person who can’t follow directions (as opposed to GPS NeverLost)

Blow it out your ass

shut the fuck up


problem of having acquired too many CD’s, or tendency to acquire more CDs then one has time to listen to


a shortcut that winds up being slower than straightforward way

Have an ice day

subtle reversal of usual platitude wishing “a nice day”

Screecher creature

an annoyingly screaming child

Where every day is a bad hair day

to unmanageably disheveled hair

Music’d out

tired from or overexposed to music

Floatation Assisting Tissue

acronym for “FAT”

High theta

highly distracting, in reference to theta brain waves, which are associated with a confused, unfocussed state of mind

Take the fanny and offload

take a shit, variant of “take a load off Annie (Fanny)”

Kazoom to hell

fly to Cozumel (or some similar resort area) during hot season or by extension, any flight winding up as an unpleasant vacation

So healthy you could die

unfamiliar-tasting, potent or unpalatable health food

Doesn’t believe in the germ theory of disease

eats off the floor, double dips, uses dishes/utensils poorly or similar unsanitary food handling

Help us out-us (or helpus outus)

pseudo Latin for “  help us out”

Fresh coat of paint

a light snowfall on top of existing, muddied snow

Dead zone

TV broadcasting within 10 minutes before the hour or half-hour, which is totally saturated with commercials

Fuckster dot fuck

Fuck it all, godammit, especially as applied to screw-ups when using online devices (referring to the fictitious URL www.fuckster.fuck)

The daily soap

the evolving drama in personal and business developments at the workplace or any recurring gathering that perks one’s interest, suspense or curiosity

Sir Lance-a-little

ungallant fellow

Skin time

response to the question “What time is it?” when you don’t know and have no watch to check it

Like a salmon swimming upstream

referring to a hard day, when events conspire to impede progress

If you only have one move, make it

don’t dawdle around when there’s only one possible, albeit unpleasant, option to go forward (inspired by chess: when the king is in “check” and only one move is possible)

Roses are red, violets are violet

what’ya think, blue??

Songwriters’ disease

inability to stop writing songs

CD dollar

a songwriter’s self-published CD, redeemable only for other CD dollars

Emerging old artist

take-off on “emerging new artist”, but for a musician trying to make it later in life


a bad (and hence dead) mycologist, i.e. mushroom expert

Death by halves

finishing off a food item (or by extension, any task) by consuming (or doing) half and then repeating the process


not an Amen.  A declaration that “may it NOT be so”.


mythical land of detention, harsh and forbidding (akin to Siberia)

Shuffle the shit

rearrange room furniture, desktop clutter, etc. without making any real progress toward a better or more organized arrangement

Premature clapulation

audience applause before a song or act has reached the end, especially if done inadvertently.

Is the pope Argentinian?

instead of the usual rhetorical confirmation: “Is the pope catholic?”

Live a little, we deliver liver

advertisement for a caterer specializing in liver dishes

Mucho peachy

very lovely (with a nod to Macchu Picchu)

Lemonade for one and all

connoting abundance (I just like the way it sounds!?)

When all else fails, try listening

good advice –try it.

Designated blood bank

person who is preferentially bitten by mosquitoes to the benefit of his/her cohorts (take-off on designated driver)

Three chord and vermouth

alternated definition of country music (vs. Harlan Howard’s “Three chords and the truth”)

A lottery quest

misheard version of  “a lot of requests”

“Ruf” neighborhood

an area with a lot of barking dogs

Stop coughin’ or you’ll wind up in a coffin

advise not to keep coughing unchecked for days on end

Well, I’m Brooks, let’s start a band

rejoinder to another person saying “I’m done” (I’m Dunn)

Cosmic convergence

by extension, a number of threats, disturbances or visitors demanding one’s attention at very nearly the same time 

Know trespassing

skills for trespassing, to be confused with the familiar “No trespassing” posted warning

Idle American

Retiree version of “American Idol”

Awfully Grateful I’m Not Gone

acronym for “AGING”


opposite of an oxymoron, redundant use of words in an expression (previously coined by others)

Plaster Man

inversion of the Master Plan, e.g. “We need a Plaster Man”

Collective memory

phenomenon in which people acting jointly can reconstruct a memory that none can individually (e.g. a story or song)


someone who comes up with wrong answers with way more than random consistency

Trumppence, (I don’t give a trumppence)

tiny bit of money, (I don’t care at all)


60-69 year old person (sexagenarian)

Exceptionalgenarian / Exceptualgenerian

70-79 year old person (septuagenarian)


80-89 year old person (octogenarian)


90-99 year old person (nonagenarian)

Sent-to-last-genarian / Sensationalgenarian

100+ year old person (centagenarian)

Designated blood-bank

person whom mosquitoes preferentially bite


stirfry of chicken, onions, tomatoes, celery, carrots, rice spinach and soy sauce with feta cheese crumbled on top

My loafer, fiend and cellmate

Spouse, as opposed to my lover, friend and soulmate

Hydration beer

Bland, cheap beer –not very tasty, but good for quenching thirst and keeping hydrated







Idioisms contributed by others

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Would you like a little cheese with that whine

mock sympathy for whining complaint


variant of inside-out


variant of upside-down

Greatest thing since Swiss bread

superlative, intermingling the common references to "sliced bread" or "swiss cheese"

Have fun, will travel

variant of "Have gun, will travel"

Stop blaming, start claiming

personal relationship advice

Stop blaming, start calming

personal relationship advice, my variation of above


bad choice for a relationship partner (especially referring to men)

Kaching walla


Shnoodle fungle



a detested task

Monsters and fathers

Freudian slip for mothers and fathers

If you don't say something nasty, then you don't say anything at all

you always criticize

Proctor and Gamble is not in the business to make soap

their business is to make money

No inner monologue

said (especially of guys) who are not too bright or talkative

Bread and Checkbook

disparagement for Bread and Circus

Neimann Mark-up

disparagement for Neimann Marcus

BirthdayGra (or weddingGra, ...)

an extended week-end or long series of parties in honor of a birthday (or wedding, ...), from MardiGra


act done on purpose but appearing as an accident (accidently on purpose), originated by friend Nash's son


to intimidate through guilt


variation on holidays, spent with the family


act of enjoyable slothfulness (from the French flaneur - to loaf)


loafing, enjoyable, idle sitting

In the bush

back at home; in the neighborhood

Hippy profit

revenue generated without regard to cost of goods (as this money spent is considered gone anyway)


shockingly poor arrangement of furnishings and room layout


disgruntled woman, especially as in the morning

Domestic realignment



twelve thirty

Green shirt story

a long, boring story


mock name for Dorchester

Dilemma of abundance

too many good things to do

Invisible traffic light

stop and go traffic without any visible reason


familiar term for a camper

Flabrador retriever

an overfed Labrador retriever

Don’t should on me

equating instructional “should” with “shit”

Don’t should on myself

equating self-motivating “should” with shit

Buy to die

investor parody of “buy to hold” or long-term equity purchase

Aerial composting

throwing garbage off the deck (or out the window)


inclined to make a contribution


female heroes

Learning curve  (= the arc of my foot as it kicks your ass)s

facetious definition




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Clean coal

Jumbo shrimp

Professional wrestling

Army intelligence

Corporate responsibility

Extended brief

Industrial park

Strict unitarian

Short business meeting

Internet security (or Online security)

Corporate responsibility

Bigger half (or Smaller half)

Business ethics

Academic freedom

Small room

Gay marriage

Pretty ugly

True story

Party hack

Big short

Act of Congress (esp.during Obama term)







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Ice cold

Pitch black

Rosy red

Ruby red

Sapphire blue

Stupid fool





Uni-use words or “Endangered words”

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duffel bag (duffel = a coarse fabric)


to and fro (fro = from)


eggnog (nog = a alcoholic drink)


lukewarm - no lukecool (but there is Cool Hand Luke)


dribs and drabs (drib = a small quantity, a driblet)


short shrift (shrift = pardon or religious confession)


hoist by one's petard (petard = explosive to breech a wall), so “hoist with one's own petard” = being the victim of one's own schemes


hunker down (hunker = crouch or squat)


by dint of (dink = force, power) hobnob and hobgoblin (hob = mischief)


hobnob and hobgoblin (hob = mischief)


hobnob (nob = head, one in a superior position in life (e.g. a noble))

fogey (also fogy)

old fogey (fogey = person with old-fashioned ideas)


kith and kin (kith = friends, neighbors and/or relatives)


newfangled (new + fangen, OE past participe of fan, to take/seize)


snaggletoothed (snaggle = irregularly shaped)

topsy turvy







high dudgeon (dudgeon = anger or resentment)


whole kit and caboodle or whole caboodle (caboodle = a lot, bunch, or group)


cocker spaniel (cocker = from hunting cocks)


praying mantis (mantis = predatory insects of the family Mantidae)


have [or given] one's druthers (druthers = choice or preference)


wheelbarrow (barrow = tumulus, castrated pig, or shallow cart)


chew its cud (cud = Food regurgitated from the first stomach to the mouth of a ruminant and chewed again)


cog on a wheel (cog = One of a series of teeth, as on the rim of a wheel or gear)


the whole shebang (shebang = a situation, matter, or affair)


jukebox (juke - an out-of-the-way shack for drinking and dancing)


hominy grits (hominy = hulled corn, corn kernals)


flotsam and jetsam (flotsam = wreckage of a ship and/or its cargo found floating at sea


flotsam and jetsam (jetsam = goods cast overboard to lighten a [sea] vessel in distress)


high jinks (jink = (1) quickly turn, dodge, evade or (2) frolic, cavort)


apple pan doughty (doughty = resembling dough, pasty)


lime rickey (rickey = drink containing liquor, lime juice, sugar and soda water)


old geezer (geezer = a queer, old, eccentric man) from “disguise”?


out of kilter or off kilter (kilter = proper condition)


beck and call (beck = beckoning gesture, summons)



raise hackles (hackles = feathers on the neck of a bird, or hairs on the neck or back of an animal, esp. a dog)


run amuck of go amuck (amuck = mad with murderous frenzy)


spelling bee (bee = a social gathering for a specific purpose)


scot-free (scot = tax)


pale and wan (wan = weak)



Malaprop Aphorisms

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By the skin of my breath

By the skin of my teeth

By a hare’s tooth

By a hair’s breadth

We’ll burn that bridge when we cross it

We’ll cross that bridge when we reach it

We’ll burn that cross when we reach it

Don’t burn your bridges

One man’s meat is another man’s trash

One man’s meat is another man’s poison

One man’s trash is another man’s poison

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure

Kettle of worms

Kettle of fish

Bag of fish

Bag of worms

Floats your innards

Floats your boat

Tickles your boat

Tickles your innards

The hiss of the cops

The kiss of the hops

The seamy craftsman

The crafty seaman

Doesn’t cut the ointment

Doesn’t cut the mustard

A fly in the mustard

A fly in the ointment



Whimsical Names

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Day Li Chow

Luke E. Day

Fock Yu Tu

Uri Nass

Ho Li Fock

Wey Hung

Song Wi Sing

Singh A. Song

Hans Zorf

Hugo Way

Carson DeBlink

Fu Ling Yu

Myra Kulis

O. VerDahill

Holly McRahl

Ellie Fant

Clark N. Dagger

Lao Zee Times

Lao Zee Day

R. U. Haydn

Kent B. Found

I. Luke Goode

U. Luke Goode

R. U. Nutz

Ophelia Payne

Mary Thon

Amira Kahn

Marsha Lartz

Mary Atchee

Fitz & Startz

Beck & Caul

Liv A. Little

Lew Steuth

Cam O’Meele

Saki Twomey

Minny van Carr

Lars Senie

Carey O’Key

Phil DeGass

R. U. Kidding

Rich Ewell

Allen Rench

I. C. Bier

Beyer B. Ware

Mayhew Fairwell

Allen Rench

Lou Smorrelz

Lou Scannon

Dar Kness

Lou Steuth