21 hilariously mangled metaphors

These phrases can cause your readers to be confused, not enlightened.

Let’s look at a figure of speech that—when used incorrectly—can leave your readers dazed and confused.

A metaphor is a figure of speech that describes an object by comparing it to another unrelated object.

Our workplace had become “Westworld,but with sloppy programming.

When used correctly, metaphors help us paint pictures with words, adding depth to our writing. When used incorrectly, the result is quite the opposite. Here are examples of mangled metaphors:

1. That’s a kettle of fish of a different color.

2. You’ve buttered your bread, now lie in it.

3. Never lick a gift horse in the mouth.

4. Remember, Rome wasn’t burned in a day.

5. This is up my wheelhouse.

6. I’ll push some strings for you.

7. You continue to cloudy the water.

8. We’re on the same page length.

9. He’s a man without an island.

10. Look what the cat dragged out of the bag.

11. You’re cutting yourself off at the foot.

12. It’s no shirt off my back.

13. She dropped it like a lead potato.

14. He will sleep like a light bulb tonight.

15. You can take that to the cleaners.

16. This isn’t my first day at the rodeo.

17. I heard it on the gravy train.

18. At least you’ve got a leg in the door.

19. It hit me like a brick wall.

20. Dig my heels in the sand.

21. Talking up the wrong tree.

[FREE DOWNLOAD: 10 punctuation essentials]

How about you, Ragan readers? Any mangled metaphors to add to the list?

Laura Hale Brockway is an Austin-based writer and editor. She is also the author of the writing/editing/random thoughts blog, Impertinent Remarks.

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