Tuesday 27 March 2012

Mixed Metaphors Part Six

he reserved his darkest venom for… Venom is usually bitter.

Yesterday, the North Korean lost their tin horned thug dictator, Kim Jong-Il (blogger) He’s thinking of “tin-pot” dictator. Only dictators are “tin-pot” - was it originally from tin-plate toys? SEE chocolate soldier, idol with feet of clay. A tinhorn is a “A petty braggart who pretends to be rich and important” says The Free Dictionary.

Endeavour was a quality act, and no surprise, given that Morse creator Colin Dexter still has his fingers firmly on its pulse. (That’s “hand firmly on its tiller”, if you must use a metaphor for “is still in control”. You take someone’s pulse to measure their heartbeat, not to control them.) Times January 3, 2012

which oiled his path through the ranks (smoothed - if you oiled a path everyone would slip)

the mayflies perform their swansong (Earthflight voiceover) Well, no, the mayflies are performing their mayfly dance. As a metaphor, it’s equivalent to “swan song” but we can see that they are dancing, not singing.

It took a book to lift the lid on the bitter tensions.

fat chequebooks (like fat wallet - but chequebooks are all the same size)

Trade gap falls to the smallest since 2003 (try shrinks, narrows, reduces, closes)

This programme “serves to line the overflowing coffers of wealthy corporations” at the expense of society’s poorest. Sarah Poulton, DM, Feb 2012 (you line pockets metaphorically because they’re made of cloth - try fill)

England unearth a new star (stars are found in outer space, not buried in fields)

racked with for riddled with (you can be racked with pains as if being tortured on a rack. A rabbit warren or ant-heap is riddled with tunnels; metaphorically a person can be riddled (run through and through) with disease, or a society riddled with corruption.)

in the 17th and 18th centuries, as traders forged their way through the wilderness... Telegraph March 2012 I expect they “hacked” their way through it.

That hopefully will unlock the whole morass. Lawyer on BBC Breakfast

Those jockeying to be captain of the ship can afford to spend their entire time backstabbing, stealing credit from rivals and waging turf wars. Luke Johnson Financial Ttimes March 2012 (They’re riding racehorses while running a ship, stabbing each other in the back while picking each others’ pockets and fighting over a lawn.)

Part Five here.
More mixed metaphors and garbled cliches here, here, here and here.

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