Mixed Metaphors
© Copyright 2015 by Paul Niquette
All rights reserved.

Dedicated to the memory of my brother
Alan Niquette
04/17/1943 - 10/30/2014
playwright, actor, entrepreneur

Collection of 1001 Metaphors by Crowdsourcing
Version 2.2 posted 31 March 2015
What good are metaphors if you don’t mix them?  That’s a rhetorical question I have asked in more than one or two contexts.  My greatest achievement, if that's the appropriate term, may be the standup script for Metaphors of Modern Management. 

In isolation from one another, many metaphors are so old and worn-out that they deserve to be dismissed by any of several put-down nouns. Which is not to say that fresh metaphors don’t occasionally come along…
  …and over the years I have offered a few of my own…
  …the latter being the intentional corruption of an established metaphor, as are these...
  …meanwhile one cannot deny the metaphorical power of these classics…
To illustrate their potential for amusement, here are some original mixed metaphors in no particular order…
  • There is no such thing as a free lunch or a gift horse, so looking a dark horse in the mouth makes sense, but beating a dead horse before the cart does not, any more than re-inventing the wheel or judging a book by its cover. (7)
  • The camel’s nose inside the tent is neither ostrich-like nor the same as having an elephant in the room grabbing the long pole in the tent or finding a pig in a poke, and even though it may have been a straw that broke the camel’s back, a straw-man argument cannot assure that an 800-pound gorilla will get the short straw. (8)
  • In the fog of war, mission creep is a slippery slope that can put boots on the ground and result in a Pyrrhic victory. (5)
  • Throwing the baby along with the wash under the bus is hardly killing with kindness any more than nuclear overkill, which is tantamount to using a sledge hammer to drive a tack. (6)
  •  At the end of the day, if a sacred cow walks like a duck, we might decide it was the chicken that came first across the road not the egg. (4)
  •  Ready, fire, aim, which is not a slam-dunk, is more likely to jump the smoking gun and shoot the messenger with a proposition that will be dead on arrival. (6)
  • The butterfly effect resembles the domino effect more than the snowball effect. (3)
  •  Wearing a black belt and red suspenders, a fireman might use karate in fighting the mother of all conflagrations and be left high and dry.(4)
  • Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic is about as funny as a rubber crutch. (2)
  • Having  cold feet is merely the tip of the iceberg compared to being caught flat footed sliding down a cellar door then hollering down a rain barrel about the low hanging fruit that can get spoiled by one bad apple. (6)
  • Old people who piss-and-moan about young people who are full of piss-and-vinegar are about as welcome as an albatross necklace during a perfect storm. (4)
  •  A politician will climb onto a soapbox and double-down on a wedge issue or champion the holy grail, then walk back a campaign position or kick a political football, but that said, without touching the third rail in a melting pot, a stump speech won’t be much of a stem-winder, inasmuch as, bottom line, a win-win situation seldom results from cherry picking or playing musical chairs at a witch-hunt. (16)
Sixty-eight metaphors in twelve sentences ( 5 2/3 average).  You are invited to submit concoctions of your own here.

Collection of 1001 Metaphors by Crowdsourcing
Version 2.2 posted 31 March 2015

Home Page
Table of Contents