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Mixed Metaphors

They say one of the secrets of a good marriage is never being bored by your partner. During the course of our marriage I have been collecting what are largely a series of my wife's mixed metaphors which might normally slip by unnoticed, but which for some reason, don't quite sound right. After a double take I realise their genius and jot them down. Some are not mixed metaphors but actually malapropisms, spoonerisms, or delightful figures of speech all of their own. The joy is that her mind works so fast, she finds and combines two figures of speech in the time most of us might struggle for one. But the best talent of all is to throw caution to the wind and launch them into the world whether they have ever been uttered before or not - and especially whether they are physically possible or not. The result is a magical combination of ideas that are far more evocative than either of the original sayings, as well as being more meaningful and infinitely more colourful than the underlying cliches. See if you can work out what they were meant to be:

They arrived mob-fisted

I love that luminous light

Angelica is made from monks

There's only one snag in the ointment

That motorcyclist nearly died a death

They're at least in pairs if not in twos

It's like water out of a stone

You've done more than beyond

He had his head decapitated

It's clear as black and day

It's the last and final one

I'm going to be out of capacity for a while

That's a recipe waiting for a disaster

They pulled out all the red stops

Do you realise we've been married longer than I've lived

Did they pre-book in advance?

It was surrounded on two sides

Any restaurant worth its gold

We broke the bulk of the journey

They'll be demanding pounds of blood

It gladdens the cockles of your heart

It's as still as a pancake

This is her old haunting ground

That tennis player is unseedless

Is it the acrylic alphabet?

Val Doonican wrote books about visitors from outer space

You can count it on one arm

It's a huge string to her bow

We're five years older than each other

It rings a big red flag

He's got difficult shoes to follow

You're on a slippery wicket

The means justify the ends

We've been dealt an amazing deck of hands

You put that seed in me

When you're hungry, food is fantastic

We've misaligned you

He thinks he can drop everything at a hat

We are going to undismantle it

I'm not going to break a gut

We've done Avy Isia

They could have a clean broom

I've broken the lucky duck

The Bayeaux tapestry is very moth balled

Is it quicker to dismantle than to mantle?

They make a rod for themselves

Sometimes it's better not to spin it and call an egg an egg

£60 is not going to break the boat

It's slippery out there like an ice bath

He'll be chuffed to pieces

I'm going to say it off the hoof

We're back to catch 21

It fell down like a flat balloon

Get off your high box

I've now been married for longer than I've been alive

I'm holding my powder

It's a third world problem

They were always on the backward foot

You've got to earfence a couple of weeks

I'm very positively negative

Those are very mingy portions

They're creaming it in

That's put a scupper in the works

They've shot themselves in the proverbial hole

She's getting a bit above her boots

Don't risk the duck of bad luck

They're banging against an open door

You can weed out the chaf from the wheat

It's like pulling hen's teeth

I didn't want to dampen her parade

There are too many people in the rat run

They talk in anacronyms

You've broken the bubble

They've all got tattoos, half of them

It was a stroke of inspiration

That's the next hurdle to cross

You don't notice it until you notice it

Complacency comes before a fall

They've done a job deal

He's playing out of his socks

One of us is going to die at some point

They fleece the leaseholders dry

If it's not worth doing it's worth doing well

I will look like mutton dressed as mutton

She would needle away at it like a terrier
It's been a short whistle tour
You've got to wean yourself into these things

I'm thinking of this off the box

I don't trust her with a barge pole

He went tit over arse

You'll be as fat as a pancake

That's a thin end of the stick

One of the first signs of death is walking slowly

I'm not going to frog leap over the clinically vulnerable

They're punching over their heads

They're up to their earballs in stuff

She'll be divorced faster than you can swing a cat

It's totally off your league

There's squat diddly going on

Have you whittled your best man down yet

He got cast out of the wilderness

The genie is out of the bag

He woke up dead the next day

Bite the dust and go for it

I'm chuffed to pieces

I don't want to ruin her thunder

Nice but no banana

Cheers or bonsai as they say in Japan

I wouldn't trust him if I threw him against a barge pole

What happened to the container that goes inside the machine? Oh, it's inside the machine.

The match was a bit of a walk off 

Their scores were off the roof

He furrows his own path

They've gone all Godzilla. They're very religious.

They're selling before they're even sold

Would you like it if I got a heart attack, an algorithm?

You know what they say: complacency comes before a fall.

We have to button down the hatches

That's ok unless she obscunds

That's one for the goose and one for the gander

That's a tall ask

They looked their noses down at them

Is this a bubble that's going to crash?

I don't want a double pronged sword

It's all gone tit shaped

That's a well bodied wine

She's got tough shoes to follow

Technically she has put all her eggs into him

She was going to commit kamikaze

The shitstorm hit the fan

A lot of them all loved it

I was mercifully teased

Doesn't stop them punching at the big table

They've cancelled the ATM tour

Val Doonican. You know, the bloke who wrote those books about aliens

You've got to scatter the net

You're going to have to kill your baby

Once the genie is out of the box...

Sometimes it's not always well known

It makes your tears prick in the back of your eyes

We've been nasal gazing

It's a complete fuck storm

Who was there that you didn't know?

We walked in off the blue

We missed it because it hasn't happened yet

It's going to be nerve biting

It's as calm as a cucumber out there

Can I Hotpoint off you

We're in the eye before the storm

Is there a dog in dougal the magic roundabout

You can't have it all for the goose and not for the gander

It's the frog in the bath water

I hate being left footed (she meant wrong footed)

But never the twain should mix

I'm ready with all systems blazing

You've got several hands in lots of pies

I tore a strip out of her

Don't be a stuck in the mud

I'll pop round and knock on your bell

You don't have to stuff your boots

We don't have liquid ice (it was dry ice)

Don't over-stretch the mark

He has his 5 minute claim to fame

Stand up and take the buck in the face

Put the demistifier on

We just squeeze the people until the pips pop.

I had my cherry well and truly broken

She doesn't push it down your face

You're milking the gravy train

I really enjoyed driving the grand cornichon

This one is a bit tried and untested

You know how many hoops you have to cross

We struck out lucky today

You've got to pour water over troubled oil

It's fairly self obvious

What does UHM stand for? Oh yes. Uhm.

He's standing on the fence

I played out of my socks yesterday

What's that film with the chalet girl oh yes, Chalet Girl

They're going there without their own steam

It's a stroke of inspiration

Quiet waters run deep

You're going to find one that's impossible to find

It's a well honed machine

We're going to the doldrums

We're quids out by a few pounds

I'd like to raise a toast

He's signed her death knell

We're hotpointing our phones for WiFi

He's on slippery ground

The mole has turned

Are those glasses transgender?

Before I forget I've forgotten to post your keys

It's a slippery wicket

They're a tall act to follow

They teach you how to get out of cufflinks

You were snoring like a trooper

For a passport picture you need your face off your head

You're rocking the apple cart

It seems non common sensical

It never always works

That'll get the cogs ticking

I'm in with the know

She'll be a big wig in a small pond

They'll want his blood in stone

I need a red shit hot lawyer

Instead of walk and walk we can park and park

You had to jump through massive hoops

That's us off the loop

Hilary Clinton didn't go to the rust bucket states

She hit her head against a brick ceiling

Shall I order one geese or two goose?

She's a pig in clover

I'm the font that keeps on giving

You've got your antenna to the ground

It will put a spanner in the spokes

It's as good as dammit

Good news is no news

You can't have too many ducks in a row

He was a fish out of place

You've opened the genie now

You're living on thin ice

It's as smooth as it comes

Fill me with chocolate and feed me to the lions

I'm just thinking behind the box

She got in the hump

You're not going to bulldoze this over me

Don't dampen my parade

It all becomes a vicious spiral

You need to know where your bread and butter is

There's lies, lies and damn statistics

Ideally you've got to die in your sleep on the golf course

She falls asleep in front of the sofa

My diesel is an emission guzzler

The house is very dirty but at least it's clean

Its a Russian lottery. You never know what you'll get

It's working now but it constantly goes off

You've got a Brazilian cleaner? I'm desperate for a Brazilian

We'll all be wiser off

You're throwing the baby out of the bath

All the shit's broken loose

I need them for the chicken coronation

You haven't even touched the surface

It's all been changed on its head

Are we throwing all the stops out?

Just keep on cracking

They're not carved in black and white

I'm not going to spite my nose to cut off my face

All we'll be doing is biting off our noses

I discovered I've got a swimming costume I didn't have

They do everything. They're very specialised.

He's got a full head of wind in his sails

The whole thing shit the fan

What's that parcel force called? Oh yes, parcelforce.

It's caught it in the bud

I've brought your onesie stick

You'll have another think coming

There is an epidemic of seaweed

You have to do it all above the books

It's a huge little enclave

Not a touch shall pass my lips

The average time in a home is 18 months maximum

It's a slippery wedge

They blighted their copybook

It's been and happened

You're skating on broken ice

It's out of the beaten way

You've got to hold your guns

He's got to whistle it down to seven choices

He is built like a brick house

It was her last swansong

It's all gone tit-shape

I'll be thrilled to pieces

It's the deafness of silence you've got to consider

He rustles it together

You need to wait until the penny's clicked

You could triple the number by five

Let's kickstart the ball

It was very tense. You could have cut the ice with a knife.

It's an escalator pitch

You've got to take the bullet

It's a little like 'are you being framed'

The team who are behind at the end usually lose

You don't want to get a train to St Pancreas

You'll be sharp as a button

You can even dive with humpback sharks

It wasn't just the alcohol it was smoking the hooker that did the damage

They ruled it down to three options

There's always people who don't turn up at the last minute

It's cock about arse

They really had to trawl the barrel for that one

They're not the brightest tools in the box

He was named after the Joshua Tree by YouTube

They left 29 passengers off the manifesto

That was a stroke of inspiration

You'll have even more less reason to eat

I can't wait for him to sing with the archipelago group.

I was out like a log

Are all the seats ticketless?... No. Are all the seats seatless?... No. Are all the seats unallocated?

What's that disease you get if you don't have a tetanus jab?

He whispered it into their breath

Then job's your uncle

I'm tossing with the idea of ordering mushrooms

Don't throw the baby out of the pram water

There's no need to throw the bath out with the bath water

That's the way the genes crumble

You're no older than you were 4 years ago

Some had their limbs decapitated

You're innocent until presumed guilty

All those Swedish people visiting their Dachaus.

It doesn't make any difference if you take them before or after food as long as you take them before you eat.

You need to have PhDs coming out of your arm

We were shitting each other for ten minutes

It says what it does on the tin

It was a trial by death

Do they use flour improvers to stop the weasels getting in?

He seems to be pulling his socks out

Jerry's breathing down my ear

That will go down in the anals of history

Surely they will subvert the train to a different route

I'll avoid it like a barge pole

The wind is from the south so the sun-break won't make any difference

See, mister whiter than thou

At the drop of a whim

They signed their own death knell

That fills the spot

You're making a meal out of a molehill

They'll be spitting kittens tonight

He held a flame for her for years

We can chalk that down

Don't listen to what you hear

She was so poor she didn't have two sticks to rub together

He tried to hush it under the carpet

You've scuppered your books (which she then corrected to) You've scuppered your copybook.

Don't just sit there like a stuffed lemon

It's a load off her chest

It's a bottomless cheque

It's a quick whistle tour

You've got the patience of a gnat

Don't jump off your high horse

No decision yet, the verdicts out

You're skating on dodgy ground

She's dropped out of the woodwork

Nick clegg is a one man horse

If we play our fingers right ....

And job's your uncle

Don't eat with your mouth full

He doesn't hold any punches

She scraped in comfortably

My mother was occupied in Holland

You have to buy an off the package shelf

So before you jump down your high horse

This a funny time of weather

We need to do some judicial planning

I'm not a stick in the wall

You've got to grasp the metal while it's strong

They were turning their noses down at it

You have to sit back and bite your tongue

She's running close to the wind

You can count them on the hand of one finger

You're not such a pretty face

They've stabbed themselves in the foot

You can tick this off the box of things you've done

Psychology is a piece of doddle

He was prepared to shake the house and see where the cards fell

I'll see that when I believe it.

It's a bit dangerous going off getting killed.

The men will have eyes sticking out of their stalks

She's blown her boats as far as her chances are concerned

He'll just have to buckle down next year

The only stick in the ointment is that the train isn't running

I'm as fit as an ox

They know which side their corruption is buttered.

They're off to Majorca at the crack of a hat

There are more photo opportunities than you can shake a cat at

Vince cable is a very sharp cookie

You've got to make split decisions what to do

The pilot failed to ejaculate in time

Were you bareback yachting?

I'm now quids even

Surrey uni is my old haunting ground

He'll be shaking a few heads together

It's got an aromatic taste

We've got to go to Argentina to see the grouchos

I want to sail around turkey in a gulag

She wasn't on the same radar

Can you fast forwards it backwards?

We'll have to have some of that leakie cock soup

Or what about smoked Arbroath

He'll make an absolute arm and a leg out of it

You've crossed your Is and dotted your Ts

The queen twits

That ticks all the bills

I've shot the warning bow

I want my golf swing compared with Jack Nicholson's

He was so gay he was swinging from both ends

It was the guinea pig that was doing it. You know that bloke on Top Gear

That's lined up her duck

So what have you bought for my delicatessen?

I want you to put your thinking caps together

You've unleashed the floodgates


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