Season Four Balki-isms

Balki-ism: "Well, if itís good enough for our space program itís good enough for me!"
Original: Balki says this after Larry comments on how the odds of winning the lottery are astronomical.

Balki-ism: "Iíd love to give homes to the homeless, jobs to the jobless, shifts to the shiftless."
Original: This is one of those comments that's not exactly a malopropism but is still something uniquely Balki's, using the word shift (as in a job shift) and progressing to shiftless (which means restless, not 'without shifts').

Balki-ism: "Cousin, Iím just playing a game of cat and louse with you."
Original: Balki's turn on the phrase "cat and mouse" works well, replacing the word mouse with louse, which could be used to describe Larry at that moment.

Balki-ism: "Cousin . . . weíre multiple millionaires again!"
Original: Balki meant to say "multi-millionaires."

Balki-ism: "Oh, just doing your job."
Original: Balki said this to Gorpley after reminding him that he had been promised a raise.  What is usually, "I'm just doing my job" is more truthful in this circumstance the way Balki put it!

Balki-ism: "Fish is brain food!  Or is it Ďbrain is fish foodí?"
Original: Balki takes what is a correct saying and turns it around, creating a very funny Balki-ism!

Balki-ism: "You can never be too nice or too thin."
Original: The original saying is "You can never be too rich or too thin."

Balki-ism: " . . . you can run but you cannot ride!"
Original: Balki should have said, "You can run but you cannot hide!"

Balki-ism: "I have a date with Dynasty!"
Original: The phrase should be "I have a date with destiny!"

Balki-ism: "You get more flies with honey than with a rifle."
Original: This is a great Myposian saying, much more accurate than the original phrase "You get more flies with honey than with vinegar."

Balki-ism: "Why would anybody want to sit through twelve hours of horrible movies?"
Original: Balki didn't understand that Larry meant they were going to watch twelve hours of horror movies.

Balki-ism: "Well, Cousin, I think you must be suffering from an optical delusion."
Original: This is an interesting hybrid of two ideas.  One can suffer from a delusion or they can see an optical illusion, but combining the two makes an interesting expression!

Balki-ism: "Youíre right, Cousin, Iím glibless!"
Original: Balki says this after Larry suggests that after seeing something Balki won't be so glib.  Balki comes up with his own word, glibless, to respond to Larry's empty threat.

Balki-ism: "Well, Cousin, I think your mind is pulling you leg."
Original: This is another combination of two expressions.  Your mind can play tricks on you or someone fooling you can pull your leg.  Balki combines them to create an interesting image!

Balki-ism: "When the Mama ship gets here youíll be the first one in line!"
Original: In science fiction stories there is often reference to a Mother ship, the lead ship in an alien armada or convoy.  Mama ship sounds more Myposian, though!

Balki-ism: "Oh, I would love to meet your grammy!"
Original: Balki says this after Lydia comments that her Grammy (the music award) was right around the corner.  Balki mistakes Grammy as meaning grandma.

Balki-ism: "Now, Cousin, that is where Balki has his thinking cap pulled way down over his ears."
Original: One usually puts their thinking cap on to say they have a good idea but Balki goes even further and pulls his thinking cap was down over his ears.

Balki-ism: "Weíre not going to bust our buttocks . . . "
Original: "Bust our butts . . . "

Balki-ism: "Now, letís tackle these ivories."
Original: To "tickle the ivories" means to play the piano.  Balki creates a clever turn of this phrase by saying they should "tackle the ivories" instead.

Balki-ism: "They put their pantyhose on one leg at a time."
Original: One usually says "they put their pants on one leg at a time" to imply that someone is just a regular person as someone else.

Balki-ism: "I know my Cousin Larry like the back of my head . . . "
Original: When someone knows something really well they usually say they know it "like the back of my hand" since you can see the back of your hand all the time (not so much with the back of your head!)

Balki-ism: "Iím getting a deja voodoo."
Original: Balki meant to say he was having deja vu.

Balki-ism: "Cousin, youíre bringing beer?"
Original: Balki makes this comment after Larry says he's bringing a "bug light" on the camping trip with them, mistaking what Larry is saying for "Bud Light." 

Balki-ism: "Well, I think he sold you a bill of rights."
Original: Balki should have said "he sold you a bill of goods" which is communication intended to sell something to someone by making it more desirable via misrepresentation.

Balki-ism: "Cousin, wake up and smell the propane."
Original: The original expression is "wake up and smell the coffee," but Balki twists it to fit the camping theme better. 

Balki-ism: "The river has a fork in the road."
Original: The river can have a fork in it, and there can be a fork in the road, but the river can't have a fork in the road.

Balki-ism: "I saw one time this episode of ĎFathers Knows Bestí . . . "
Original: I don't know if this really counts as a Balki-ism but it wasn't unusual for Balki to switch words around in a sentence.  This is probably because in Myposian the sentence structures are different than in English.

Balki-ism: "Cousin, you get lost in a full sun!"
Original: Balki's comment about a "full sun" (which of course there is no such thing) was a smart retort to Larry's comment that he won't get lost because there's  full moon.

Balki-ism: "Before you sing ĎFor Heís a Jolly Good Feloní . . . "
Original: Balki meant to refer to the song "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow."

Balki-ism: "You said you were choking. Iím giving you the ham hock maneuver!"
Original: Balki meant to say he was giving Gorpley the Heimlich maneuver.

Balki-ism: "Well, Cousin Larryís having a nervous break dance."
Original: Of course Balki meant to say that Larry is having a "nervous breakdown."

Balki-ism: "I have never been realer."
Original: This is one of those odd Balki-isms where he simply makes up a word that doesn't exist.  After Gorpley tells Balki to "get real," Balki's response is to say the above, even though "realer" isn't an actual word.

Balki-ism: " . . . as Mrs. Bailey says plaque is the leading cause of tooth decay and gingivitis.  Mrs. Bailey is so smart.  I always thought that gingivitis was Fred Astaireís dancing partner."
Original: Balki confusing Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire's dance partner, with gingivitis, a gum disease, is definitely humorous!

Balki-ism: "A lip balm?"
Original: Balki confusing the word "balm" for "bomb" may be more of a pun than a maloprop, but we felt it was still fitting enough to put here.

Balki-ism: "Cousin, Iím halluciginating!"
Original: Who else but Balki could come up with such a strange replacement for the word hallucinating?

Balki-ism: "Cousin Larry is on the verge of a very big perversion!"
Original: As Larry would point out, Balki meant to say Larry was in the verge of a very big promotion.

Balki-ism: "If he gets it, heíll feel five feet tall."
Original: Usually when one uses this expression they say someone will feel "ten feet tall." A height taller than they are, not shorter.  By saying "five feet tall" it makes the expression a joke on Larry being short.

Balki-ism: "Your ship has finally hit the fan."
Original: Balki mixes up two expressions here quite wonderfully.  To say one's "ship has finally come in" means they have been successful in reaching a goal.  The other expression, "The sh** has hit the fan" means something has gotten out of control or gone horribly wrong.

Balki-ism: "Donít you think that Mushmouth and Polevault started out where youíre starting out?"
Original: This is Balki's first mangling of the names of the investigative reporting team, Marshall and Walpole.  Mush Mouth was a character created by Bill Cosby on his classic comedy albums.

Balki-ism: " . . . and the rest, as they say, is hysterectomy."
Original: The expression should be "And the rest, they say, is history."  A hysterectomy is . . . something else.

Balki-ism: "Iíll get the antacid."
Original: Balki says this after Larry says he is getting his "second wind" which means he was tired but isn't any more.  Balki interprets this to mean Larry has gas.

Balki-ism: "Carl is interested in sculpting?"
Original: This line comes after Larry tells Balki that Carl is going to make a big bust.  Larry meant Carl was going to make a big arrest and Balki was thinking of the art kind of bust, a sculpture of just the shoulders and head of someone.

Balki-ism: "I have been on the street as long as you have! We left the house at the same time."
Original: Larry makes the point that "when you've been on the street as long as I have there are some things you just know," referring to his time as a reporter.  Balki takes it a bit too literally, though.

Balki-ism: "Cousin . . . cut the Bullwinkle!"
Original: Instead of Balki telling Larry to "cut the bull" or even "cut the bull***" he says this instead.  Bullwinkle J. Moose was a cartoon character created by Jay Ward and Alex Anderson and co-starred on the shows Rocky and His Friends and The Bullwinkle Show, collectively known as The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.

Balki-ism: " . . . and someday youíre gonna be just as famous as Maytag and Whirlpool."
Original: Another mangling of the names Marshall and Walpole by Balki, this time incorporating the names of two major appliance manufacturers.  (Note: Whirlpool has now taken over its rival Maytag brand).

Balki-ism: " . . . patience is a virgin."
Original: Balki meant to say "Patience is a virtue."  But she' probably a virgin, too!

Balki-ism: "Iím throwing down the cutlet!"
Original: Balki meant to say "I'm throwing down the gauntlet," which is a reference to medieval times.  When someone wanted to issue a challenge to an opponent, they would throw their gauntlet, or glove, to the ground.

Balki-ism: " . . . youíre really starting to flea and tick me off."
Original: Balki was telling Bink, the game show host, that he was starting to tick him off, but he added flea as well, since fleas and ticks are often mentioned together when talking about pests for pets, as in commercials for flea and tick collars.

Balki-ism: "Itís good to let your hair fall out once in a while."
Original: The actual expression is "let your hair down" which means to loosen up, have some fun.

Balki-ism: "I canít believe Iím actually going to fly on an aeroplane and spend a whole week in the Great Pumpkin."
Original: As Larry explains, New York is called The Big Apple.  The Great Pumpkin is a character which Peanuts character, Linus Van Pelt, would wait for in the pumpkin patch every year at Halloween.

Balki-ism: "Well, without you the Big Apple will be rotten to the core."
Original: Okay, it's more of a pun that a maloprop, but saying the Big Apple will be rotten to the core is just too cute!

Balki-ism: "Isnít that where the Japanese bombed Pearl Bailey?"
Original: The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.  Pearl Bailey was a noted singer and actress.

Balki-ism: " . . . if you check these bags then theyíll put them in the stomach of the plane for you."
Original: The place where bags are stored is usually referred to as the "belly" of the plane, not the stomach.

Balki-ism: "Well, Cousin, as you know I prefer suspenders to a belt buckle any time . . . "
Original: Balki says this after Larry tells him to "buckle up," referring to the seat belt buckle instead of a buckle on a belt.

Balki-ism: "Yes, whenever we find quality, we try to control it."
Original: Balki twists this phrase to change the meaning of "quality control."

Balki-ism: "Listen, who gets the veterinarianís supper?"
Original: Balki meant to say "vegetarian" supper (meatless) as opposed to a meal for an animal doctor.

Balki-ism: "Itís in the Mr. Microphone oven."
Original: Of course Balki meant to say the "microwave oven."  Mr. Microphone was a popular toy in the late 1970's which claimed to let you put your voice on the radio.  It was actually an FM modulator which would transfer your voice to a specific FM channel tuned to the same frequency.

Balki-ism: "Why are you acting like a lunch mob?"
Original: Balki meant to refer to a lynch mob, which was the name for a group of people out to hang someone.

Balki-ism: "Well, I got a hot flash for you . . . "
Original: Balki should have said "I got a news flash for you."  A hot flash is . . . something else.

Balki-ism: "Rubbing your face with a trophy?  Cousin, that could damage your pores."
Original: Larry said that Gorpley had won the trophy in the previous year's bowling tournament and had been rubbing his face in it (gloating about winning).  Balki misunderstood this to think Gorpley was rubbing the trophy on Larry's face.

Balki-ism: "Well, Cousin, if . . . if you have time to go pick up your slacks you have time to teach me how to bowl."
Original: Balki said this after Larry said that even though their team was short a member he wouldn't give up to Gorpley without a fight, even if he had to pick up the slack himself.  Balki thought Larry was referring to picking up his slacks (pant), from the cleaner or after having alterations.

Balki-ism: "I thought they left that one out overnight and the ball weevils got it."
Original: Boll weevils are small beetles which bore into cotton buds and lay their eggs.  Balki changed "boll" to "ball" to explain how the bowling ball came to have holes in it.

Balki-ism: "And not rubbing his face on it means that youíre a better winner than he is."
Original: Balki is obviously still confused about the proper way to word "rubbing your face in it."

Balki-ism: "Then I need to talk to you, because I got some problems with my hip . . . "
Original: Balki says this after Lydia introduces her date as being a hypnotherapist.

Balki-ism: "Oh, I love Charo!  Especially when he takes his sword and makes the sign of the Z!"
Original: Balki mistakes Zorro, the fictional masked nobleman and swordsman, for Charo, the flamboyant Spanish singer and guitarist.

Balki-ism: "Cousin, I donít think thatís a good idea.  We might get tire marks on it."
Original: Balki says this after Larry suggests they "run over his tax forms in the car."

Balki-ism: "Really?  I have an Uncle Sam myself.  Actually, his name is Salmonella after the fish and the jazz singer."
Original: Balki explains how his uncle was named after salmon, the fish, and Ella Fitzgerald, the jazz singer.  What Balki doesn't seem to realize (or his uncle's mother, for that matter) is that salmonella is a type of food poisoning.

Balki-ism: "I didnít realize Iíd made an asset of myself."
Original: Balki misunderstands Mr. Wainwright's intentions when the man tells Balki that he's been a real asset to Larry.

Balki-ism: "You really have these facts at your fingernails."
Original: The expression is actually, "facts at your fingertips."

Balki-ism: "Oh, Cousin!  I donít want to be set on fire!"
Original: Balki cries this after Larry says Judge Gideon might have them incarcerated.  Balki thought Larry meant "incinerated."

Balki-ism: "I didnít know we were fighting for life, puberty and the pursuit of happiness."
Original: The expression would be "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."  Puberty is . . . something else.

Balki-ism: "And if he donít like that, he can take it to the bank and smoke it!"
Original: The expression "take it to the bank" means that something is guarantee, 100% correct and genuine.  Balki creatively combined this with the expression, "Put that in your pipe and smoke it!" which means, "Take that!" or "So there!"

Balki-ism: "Well, Cousin, you did tell Judge Gideon that weíd stay in here until Hell warms over."
Original: Balki got a little confused about the expression "until Hell freezes over," which wouldn't be likely to happen.

Balki-ism: "John Paul Jones . . . and Ringo!"
Original: John Paul Jones was a naval hero during American's Revolutionary War.  John, Paul, George and Ringo are, of course, The Beatles.

Balki-ism: "Yeah, weíre defending the Constitution, the freedom of the press, and the right to arm bears."
Original: Balki mixed up his phrasing of the second amendment in the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution, which should be "the right to bear arms."

Balki-ism: "Heís a cannibal?"
Original: Poor Balki becomes afraid when Larry says Honest Akmed will "eat him alive" not realizing that Larry only meant the car salesman would take complete advantage of him.

Balki-ism: Iím sure your father was wise behind his ears . . . "
Original: The expression Balki was reaching for here was "wise beyond his years."

Balki-ism: "This Mypiot didnít just fall off the turnip train, you know."
Original: When someone says a person has "just fallen off the turnip truck" it usually in reference to an immigrant who is new to a place, and is not flattering, the same way that people use "fresh off the boat" or "FOB" today.  In trying to prove his point that he's not so naive, Balki accidentally calls it the "turnip train" instead.

Balki-ism: "I donít want your death on my head and shoulders."
Original: When someone is burdened by something they will say it's "on their head," meaning on their conscience.  Head and Shoulders is a brand of shampoo that helps fight dandruff.

Balki-ism: "My second choice is ĎEat my rust.í"
Original: Balki wanted his second choice of a license plate to be cool, but mistook the expression "Eat my dust" for "Eat my rust."

Balki-ism: "Well, thatís what you said when you stripped the threads on the car-burrito."
Original: Balki meant to say carburetor.

Balki-ism: " . . . eight of one, half a dozen of another."
Original: The expression Balki wanted to use was "six of one, half a dozen of the other" which means it's all the same, equal, there's really no difference.

Balki-ism: "First thing in the morning you should call up your Papa and get that piece of your mind off your chest."
Original: To "give someone a piece of your mind" means to tell them what you think.  To "get something off your chest" means to unburden yourself of something that's been troubling you.  Balki combines the two in a way only Balki can!

Balki-ism: "Did he tell you two of his ex-wives are paying him abalone?"
Original: As Lydia would point out, Balki mean to say "alimony."

Balki-ism: "Aunt Desiís late and very dead husband was also a very successful shipping maggot."
Original: As Desiree Appleton would point out, Balki meant to say "magnate."

Balki-ism: "Cousin, this chocolate mouse is to die for!"
Original: Balki mistook the chocolate mousse for a small furry rodent, at least in name.

Balki-ism: "Oh, Aunt Desi loves to bet."
Original: Balki says this after Desiree mentioned "she" was going to travel to the Far East: China, Japan, Tibet . . .

Balki-ism: "Just one minute, you Jello mold!"
Original: As Larry would point out, Balki meant to say "gigolo" (a male who sells himself to woman as a "companion").

Balki-ism: "You Goldfinger!"
Original: As Larry would point out, Balki meant to say "golddigger" (someone who is after another person romantically only for their money).

Balki-ism: "You old-timer!"
Original: As Larry would point out, Balki meant to say "two-timer" (someone who cheats romantically with another person while dating or married to someone).

Balki-ism: "Just who do you think you are?  Some kind of Don Juan Johnson?"
Original: Don Juan was a famous fictional character who was a bit of a rogue in his courting of many women.  Balki confused this character with actor Don Johnson, the co-star of Miami Vice.

Balki-ism: "Well, I got a hot flash dance for you."
Original: Balki meant to say he had a news flash.  Instead he mixed this up with "hot flash," which is something else, and "Flashdance," which was a popular 1983 movie.

Balki-ism: "And I mean maybe!"
Original: We haven't heard this Balki-ism since episode one!  Balki brings back his confused version of "and I don't mean maybe."

Balki-ism: "By the end of the evening you had her laughing out of the palm of your hand."
Original: Normally one would say someone had a person "eating out of the palm of your hand."  This means that the person was able to win someone over completely.  Balki just meant to say Larry had Lydia laughing and happy, but it's safe to say he's the only person who's ever said it this way.

Balki-ism: "Other than that it was really a great way to experience male bondage."
Original: As Larry would finally realize, Balki meant to say "male bonding."

Balki-ism: "Mr. Gorpley is quite the aardvark."
Original: Larry was also able to decipher this as Balki's way of trying to say "card shark."

Balki-ism: "In fact, I doubt if in the whole history of card playing there have ever been two more rank-smelling amateurs."
Original: What Balki meant to say was they were "rank amateurs."  He added the smelling, since the word rank is often used in association with something smelling badly.

Balki-ism: "Fold, spindle, mutilate!"
Original: When Balki desperately wanted Larry to fold in his poker game with Mr. Gorpley, he added the "spindle" and "mutilate," which can often be seen coupled with "fold" on important mail or papers which are not to be destroyed.

Balki-ism: "Itís my mad money.  If you lose it, Iím gonna be real mad!"
Original: The term "mad money" has been used for many years and is a slang term referring to a small amount of money held aside for possible emergencies, often by housewives.  Balki took the "mad" a bit more literally.

Balki-ism: "You canít bet my ball of wax!  Iíve been collecting it for years!"
Original: Balki says this after Larry suggests to Gorpley that they play a game for "the whole ball of wax," which means everything.  Balki took it to refer to the actual ball of wax he's apparently been collecting.

Balki-ism: "I spent the whole evening on an emotional roller derby."
Original: Balki meant to say he'd been on an "emotional roller coaster."

Balki-ism: "Big Sheepherder on Campus."
Original: Balki came up with his own version of the expression "Big Man on Campus."

Balki-ism: "He may seem tough now, but once you get to know him youíll find heís totally without merit."
Original: Because Balki referred to Cousin Larry seeming tough, we have to assume Balki meant to say he was "totally without malice."

Balki-ism: "What about one that looks like Cybil Sheepherder?"
Original: Balki gives an interesting twist to actress Cybil Shepherd's name!

Balki-ism: "Iím at my end of a soap on a rope!"
Original: When one has reached the limit of their patience or capability they say "I'm at the end of my rope."  Balki twisted this to include the once popular "soap on a rope," a bar of soap with a rope attached to wear in the shower (didn't they even make these shaped like a microphone for people who like to sing in the shower?)

Balki-ism: "You donít have to paint me a photograph."
Original: The original expression is "you don't have to paint me a picture," which means you don't have to spell it out or make your wishes any more clear.

Balki-ism: "Iím gonna get taller from this?"
Original: This was Balki's response to Larry's comment that he should look upon his bad grade as a "growth experience."

Balki-ism: "Your standards are so high I canít even see them from here!"
Original: When one says their standards are high, they aren't speaking physically, but Balki twists it with this response to make his point.

Balki-ism: " . . . and before you know it those sheep are playing leap sheep all over the meadow."
Original: Okay, it's not really a maloprop and maybe children do play "leap sheep" in Mypos instead of "leap frog" but we felt the name still deserved a place here.

Balki-ism: "Iíd rather have my arms cut off at the knees than go through with this."
Original: Does this one really need explaining?  It's either a Balki-ism or Mypiots have a very strange sense of anatomy!

Balki-ism: "Dead horses couldnít drag me away."
Original: The phrase is usually "Wild horses couldn't drag me away," although literally, "dead horses" probably couldn't, either!

Continue to Season Five Balki-isms