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Quotable Quotes > Malapropisms. The word is derived from the character Miss Malaprop in Sheridan's comedy (ca. 1775) The Rivals, a malapropism is any well-intended saying that takes on a different and often ludicrous meaning when a similar yet utterly inappropriate word is used.


  • "You could have knocked me over with a fender" Jane Ace
  • "He's on 90... 10 away from that mythical figure." Trevor Bailey, cricket commentator
  • "This series has been swings and pendulums all the way through." Trevor Bailey, cricket commentator
  • "Your ambition - is that right - is to abseil across the English channel?" Cilla Black
  • "We cannot let terrorists and rogue nations hold this nation hostile or hold our allies hostile." George W. Bush
  • "Listen to the blabbing brook." Norm Crosby
  • "The police are not here to create disorder, they're here to preserve disorder." Richard Daley, former Chicago mayor
  • "I resemble that remark!" Stan Curly Howard. Comedian
  • "We heard the sea is infatuated with sharks" Stan Laurel, Comedian
  • "This is unparalyzed in the state's history." Gib Lewis, Texas Speaker of the House
  • "He was a man of great statue." Thomas Menino, Boston mayor
  • "She's really tough; she's remorseful." David Moorcroft
  • "It is beyond my apprehension." Danny Ozark, baseball team manager
  • "Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child." Dan Quayle, Vice President
  • "He's going up and down like a metronome." Ron Pickering
  • "Cardial - as in cardial arrest." Eve Pollard
  • "We seem to have unleased a hornet's nest." Valerie Singleton
  • "Unless somebody can pull a miracle out of the fire, Somerset are cruising into the semi-final." Fred Trueman
  • "I might just fade into Bolivian, you know what I mean?" Mike Tyson, Boxer
  • "Marie Scott... has really plummeted to the top." Alan Weeks
  • "Well, that was a cliff-dweller." Wes Westrum, about a close baseball game


    We didn't want to leave out John Q. Public, so we've listed a few more malapropisms that we haven't been able to attribute to anyone in particular.

  • "Don't" is a contraption.
  • Dad says the monster is just a pigment of my imagination.
  • Good punctuation means not to be late.
  • He had to use a fire distinguisher.
  • He's a wolf in cheap clothing.
  • I can't eat on an empty stomach.
  • I guess I'll have to start from scraps.
  • I want you all to line up in alphabetical order according to your size.
  • If people don't want to come to the ballpark, nobody can stop them.
  • I'm scared to death to get sick.
  • Include me out.
  • Isn't that an expensive pendulum round that man's neck?
  • It's déjà vu all over again.
  • It's the people I tell things to that can't keep a secret, not me.
  • Michelangelo painted the Sixteenth Chapel.
  • My sister has extra-century perception.
  • Nowadays, every Tom, Dick and Harry is named Mike.
  • Say "No!" to negativity.
  • That restaurant is so crowded, nobody goes there anymore.



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    Last Updated April 1, 2013

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