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25428.  Fri Sep 30, 2005 9:11 am Reply with quote

Wikipedia defines it, rather elegantly, as:
A malapropism (from French mal propos, "ill of purpose") is an incorrect usage of a word, usually with comic effect.

The term comes from the name of Mrs. Malaprop, a character in Richard Brinsley Sheridan's comedy, The Rivals (1775), whose name was in turn derived from the existing English word 'malapropos', meaning "inappropriately".

While George W. Bush could be considered today's super-heavyweight champion (along with regular contributor's to Private Eye's Colemanballs), I'm sure we've all come up with a few ourselves.

Sheridan's originals are still good:
"He's as headstrong as an allegory on the banks of the Nile." (i.e., alligator)

"He is the very pineapple of politeness." (i.e., pinnacle)

Mr Grue
25431.  Fri Sep 30, 2005 9:14 am Reply with quote

My favourite malapropism of the moment is the perhaps sadly recurrent:

"which led to the loss of so many pointless lives".

I believe I've seen that one on this board not too long ago...

25450.  Fri Sep 30, 2005 10:51 am Reply with quote

for 6 years I have a forklift driver in a whorehouse :)

25451.  Fri Sep 30, 2005 10:52 am Reply with quote

For 6 years I have been a fork lift driver in a whorehouse,doh,soz

25455.  Fri Sep 30, 2005 10:58 am Reply with quote

When my first husband was a little boy, he went home from school one day after the school nurse had been in to give the various injections required, and said, 'Mummy - I've been vulcanised!'

25458.  Fri Sep 30, 2005 11:01 am Reply with quote

I had been driving for 25 years when I fell asleep at the wheel.

Mr Grue
25560.  Sat Oct 01, 2005 6:38 am Reply with quote

I do love a hybrid simile, 'chas:

"Up and down like a bride's yo-yo."
"Smooth as a baby's silk."

29258.  Tue Nov 01, 2005 5:49 pm Reply with quote

I remember my younger brother once looking out of our house through the letterbox, seeing the postman coming down the street, and coming back to tell our mum. 'How do you know that?' she asked. To which he replied 'I saw him through the chatterbox'

29402.  Thu Nov 03, 2005 8:02 am Reply with quote

Slightly related - amazing how easy it is to mis-read some website URL's if you capitalise the wrong letters (these are all work-safe if you click on them btw).

30186.  Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:07 pm Reply with quote

I once shared a house with a somewhat pretentious academic, much given to using words that were one or two syllables too long for his grasp. When I pointed this out to him, he insisted that people didn't object to a little solipsism. I had to produce a dictionary in order to persuade him that he meant "solecism".

gerontius grumpus
35346.  Sun Nov 27, 2005 9:13 am Reply with quote

As much use as a chocolate labrador.

35348.  Sun Nov 27, 2005 9:21 am Reply with quote

"He is the very pineapple of politeness." (i.e., pinnacle)

Actually I've been trying to bring that particular malapropism back into fashion amongst my friends. It's only working for about 5 of us, but we enjoy it more as it adds rather a fruity tone to your compliments/descriptions.

gerontius grumpus
35365.  Sun Nov 27, 2005 9:52 am Reply with quote

Sheridan's originals are still good:
[quote]"He's as headstrong as an allegory on the banks of the Nile." (i.e., alligator)

Is this a double malapropism since alligators are not found an the banks of the Nile?

A bit like the way the word malapropism is derived from the name of a character that means something vary similar to that.

Cleverina Clogs
35373.  Sun Nov 27, 2005 10:08 am Reply with quote

I don't know if this is a malapropism or not, but Mother Clogs often says strange things like 'shut the door, and then you can have some more soup'

35446.  Sun Nov 27, 2005 1:19 pm Reply with quote

gerontius grumpus wrote:
As much use as a chocolate labrador.

Careful now


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