"A Sony Sit-man!"
Original: This is what Balki called Larry's
stereo chair, making a play on the "Sony Walkman."
"Itís a lovely island but boy, those Kleptos . . . maniacs."
Original: In keeping with the neighboring
islands of Mypos' tendency to create great play on words, such as Pathos
(Pathetic) and Skeptos (Skeptic) we now have the Kleptos, whose tendency as
robbers makes them perfect kleptomaniacs, which is a person who has an
irrepressible urge to steal.
"Theyíre all absolutely foolproof. I know, because on Mypos theyíre
all tested on actual fools."
Original: Obviously on Mypos they take the term
foolproof quite literally!
"But before he can lay one fingerprint on our valuables . . . "
Original: This Balki-ism is one of those which
actually does make sense, even though the expression is usually "before he
can lay one finger . . . " instead of "fingerprints."
"Cousin . . . this might be a good time to read that instruction manuel."
Original: Balki still pronounces the word
"manual" as the Mexican name "Manuel." Is it really a
Balki-ism, though? Well, that's up for debate, but we thought it was still
worth mentioning here.
"Thank you for reaching out and touching me."
Original: This is how Balki answered the
phone, utilizing a classic advertising line from AT&T which stated that
users could "reach out and touch someone" via the telephone. Of
course, Balki's versions sounds a bit more questionable.
"Mama always told me, ĎWhen you go to the park, donít talk to older
Original: Balki misunderstood when Larry says
he saw crooked contractor Big Jim Morris talking to two Aldermen at a meeting of
the department of public works, thinking he meant "two older men."
"Heís writing an article on Big Jim Morris who is dancing in the park
with older men."
Original: This was Balki's summary of the
article Larry was writing as he stated to Tess' mother. Not exactly a
malaprop but still twisted enough to make the list here.
"And now, last but not yeast . . . "
Original: Balki meant to say "last but
"Oh, is that so, Mr. Spock?"
Original: This sentence was said in reference
to Larry's comments about the rearing of children in America and the fact people
don't bring them to the workplace. It would have made more sense if Balki
hadn't mistaken "Mr. Spock" (the Vulcan character from Star Trek) with
Dr. Spock (the famed child psychologist).
"Are you going to have a nervous breakdance?"
Original: Balki meant to ask if Larry were
going to have a "nervous breakdown." A nervous breakdance might
be interesting to watch, though!
"Sheíll be pleased as lunch."
Original: The expression Balki meant to use
was "pleased as punch."
"Oh, these are my favorite! Toll booth cookies!"
Original: Balki said this when Tess' mother
sent down chocolate chip cookies. He meant to call them "Toll House
Cookies," a popular recipe using Toll House chocolate morsels by Nestlť.
"Nineties? I would have guessed late
Original: Larry tries to explain to Balki how
Jennifer is a woman of the nineties and Balki mistakenly thinks Larry is saying
Jennifer is a woman in her nineties.
"I know Iím just a simple Mypiot
boy and I may never be a man in my Nikes . . . "
Original: Another twisting of the term
"nineties," this time Balki mistaking it with a popular brand of
"Cousin, enough is too much . . .
Original: The expression meant to say was,
"enough is enough," or perhaps he actually did mean it the way he said
"Itís the bottom of the ninth, two
outs, the bases are loaded and youíve got two strikes against you. Cousin, itís
time to kick it through the uprights!"
Original: Balki uses the analogy of heated
final inning in a nail-biting baseball game to describe Larry's situation before
proposing to Jennifer, and it would have been fine if only he hadn't
accidentally thrown in a football reference in the last line!
"That Trotski could work like a horse
. . . "
Original: To say that someone "works
like a horse" means they work very hard. Of course the Balki-ism here
being that Trotski actually *is* a horse.
"You know, I donít eat a whole lot
of red meat myself."
Original: Balki said this to Dr. Tierney
after Larry explains that the man is a "veterinarian." Balki
naturally mistook what Larry said as meaning he was a "vegetarian."
"Oh! Iím sorry. Which
Original: Still not getting the term
"veterinarian," this time Balki mistakes it with the word
"Now, you look this gifted horse in
the mouth . . . "
Original: The expression, "Don't look a
gift horse in the mouth" means that you shouldn't take something for
granted. Balki twisted this expression by calling Larry's Fortune a
"gifted horse" instead, meaning the horse is talented.
"Does a chicken have hips?"
Original: When someone refers to chickens
having lips it is usually when they are trying to convey that something doesn't
exist. Balki's mistake of saying "hips" instead of
"lips" actually works for him in this case, as he's trying to confirm
something Mary Anne has asked instead of disputing it, and chickens do indeed
"Itís gliding down his elementary
canal . . . "
Original: Balki was actually referring to
the alimentary canal, which is a term used to describe the digestive system as a
"Cool your Jetsons . . . "
Original: This is Balki's rather unique take
on the expression, "Cool your jets," which means to calm down.
"Wild pigs couldnít drag it out of me."
Original: The expression, "Wild horses
couldn't drag it out of me," is used when someone absolutely refuses to
give up a secret. It's not clear how effective wild pigs would be at
"And thatís vinyl!"
Original: This is the way Balki hears the
saying, "And that's final!"
" . . . donít say anything about his crowís feet or those lines
around his eyes . . . "
Original: Balki warns Larry not to comment
on Zoltan Botulitis' appearance and specifies his crow's feet. We think
he's talking about the creases around Zoltan's eyes, which are referred to as
crow's feet, but then Balki adds, "or those lines around his
eyes," so we are left to wonder what it is about Zoltan's feet that makes
"Itís a done duel."
Original: This was a clever variation on
the expression, "It's a done deal," meaning a deal has been finalized.
"Cousin, bitingís against the rules."
Original: Balki says this after Larry
comments that Zoltan may have bitten off more than he can chew, which means he's
taken on more than he can handle. Balki takes Larry's comment literally
and thinks that Larry is referring to the act of actually biting him.
"I can fence with both hands. Iím amphibious!"
Original: Balki meant to say that he was
ambidextrous, which means he can use both his hands equally well, instead of
amphibious, which would mean he's at home in water as well as on land.
"Please take me to the friendly
skies! Balki is ready when you are. I love to fly and it shows."
Original: Balki manages to weave three
advertising slogans from two different airlines into his pleas to allow Larry to
let him go along when he flies in Ace's plane (United and Delta,
"Mr. Ace says he could fly it with
both eyes tied behind his back."
Original: Balki once again combines two
different expressions into one skewed Balki-ism. In this case, he could
have said that Ace could fly the plane blindfolded or with both arms tied behind
"Cousin, donít take your shorts out
Original: Balki attempts to repeat Ace's
earlier statement, "Don't get your shorts in a bunch," which means to
not get upset or worked up about something.
"Oh, Cousin, sometimes I canít see
the forest through my knees."
Original: This is Balki's version of the
expression, "can't see the forest for the trees," which means one
can't see something that is obviously in front of them because they get
distracted and pre-occupied with the minute details.
"I donít think Cousin Larry is
playing with a full deck chair."
Original: To say that someone "isn't
playing with a full deck," is to say that they are crazy or a bit
off. Balki mistakenly says "deck chair" instead of deck (as in a
playing card deck.)
"You better step in it!"
Original: Balki meant to tell Larry he
better "step on it," meaning step on the accelerator of the car to
make them go faster. Telling Larry to "step in it" sounds like .
. . something else.
"Our luck is bound and gagged to change."
Original: Balki was trying to say their
luck was "bound to change," but added the "gagged," which
would be used if someone were being tied up during a crime.
" . . . to make a short story long . . . "
Original: While this was actually
accurate of what Balki was doing (retelling the story of what happened to them
in a time-consuming manner), the expression is "to make a long story
short," meaning you plan to spare someone all the details of a particular
"I read the manuel back to front . . . "
Original: Even after all these years
Balki still continues to pronounce the word "manual" as the name
"Well, I had a perk once. Right on the back of my neck. I had to have it
surgically removed by the village barber."
Original: Balki confuses Larry's
"perk" (or rather an advantage or reward for work well done) with a
"tick," a blood-sucking insect which can spread disease.
"We can go to Disneyland and then we can go watch the sunset from the
Sunset Strip and we can play polo at the Polo Lounge and we can go bowling at
the Hollywood Bowl!"
Original: This is very clever, the way
Balki literally takes the names of these places as meaning that's what one does
"There are no short stories, only short reporters."
Original: As Larry would explain, he
meant to say "Small stories and small reporters." Of course,
considering the fact that they're always making fun of Larry being short, Balki
probably thought that short is exactly what Larry meant!
"Boxers or briefs?"
Original: Balki asks this after Larry
tells him that Marco Madison is very big in the underworld (meaning the crime
underworld) and Balki mistook this mean he was in underwear manufacturing or
selling (or maybe even wearing! Who knows how Balki's mind really works?)
"No, Cousin, that donít usually happen unless the pig gets a good running
Original: Balki says this after Larry
makes the comments, "When pigs fly." Larry, of course, meant to
say the chance of the mugger turning in the videotape to the police was none.
"Well, thatís for you to know and me to find out . . . "
Original: A simple matter of reversal,
Balki meant to say, "That's for me to know and you to find out."
"Well, Iíll praise it for you right now . . . "
Original: Balki says his after Jennifer
said she would get her wedding ring appraised. Balki mistook the act of
evaluating something for money with the acting of complimenting, or praising,
"Iím building up the old ham
Original: Balki meant to say that he
was building up the old "hamstrings," which are a way of referring to
certain leg muscles.
"Jenniferís on her way to Hong Kong
and the police are too busy for you to send on some wild moose chase."
Original: The expression when someone
is chasing after something that doesn't exist is "wild goose
chase." But "moose chase" works as well!
"Now what are the chances of that
happening? One in a dozen?"
Original: Not exactly a malaprop but
still a funny understatement . . . usually when one wants to express how
unlikely something is they will quote an example of outrageous odds, such as a
million to one. One in a dozen is certainly a more likely
"Cousin, I told you once, I told you
twice, I told you two times . . . "
Original: Whereas one would usually say "If I
told you once, I told you a million times," Balki settles for just twice,
making it an accurate statement and not an exaggeration.
"Iím gonna climb up this rope and
if you wanna stay here then you sue yourself."
Original: Balki meant to tell Larry
that he could "suit himself," not bring litigation against himself.
"Cousin, I get to wear my bells?"
Original: Balki says this after Larry
tells Bunky that they'll be at the party "with bells on."
Obviously Larry didn't know that Balki could take that expression literally!
"Cousin, coronations are my favorite flower."
Original: Balki was mistaking
"coronations" (or the crowning of royalty) with the flower
"We say the magic words . . .
abracapocus . . . Elia Kazan . . . "
Original: Balki somehow managed to
combine the magical expressions "Abracadabra" and "Hocus
Pocus" to come up with his hybrid magical phrase. Not to mention the
fact that he misinterprets "Alakazam" as Elia Kazan, the famous writer
"He told me he had to go to a stag
party. That Timmy must love deer."
Original: As Larry explains, a stag
party has nothing to do with deer. It's simply another name for an
all-male party, usually including some form of adult entertainment, such as blue
movies or a stripper.
"Keep your eyes crossed."
Original: Balki meant to say,
"Keep your fingers crossed," which is done when someone wants to ward
off bad luck and hope something good happens. Keeping your eyes crossed
makes it very difficult to do anything!
"This is a man of the loin cloth!"
Original: "A man of the
cloth" is another way of referring to a priest. A man of the loin
cloth is . . . something else.
"Have you taken leave of your sinuses?"
Original: Balki meant to ask Larry,
"Have you taken leave of your senses?" It's a little harder to
take leave of your sinuses, although it would be a great way to prevent
"All right, Cousin, I have had it
up to here with you."
Original: Balki gets the saying
all right, but instead of holding his hand up high, like around his head or
chin, he holds it down low, below his knee.
"Well, why donít you just burst
Original: Balki meant to say
"balloon" instead of "baboon." Bursting a baboon would
be . . . messy, to say the least.
"Well, you ungrateful little post nasal drip."
call someone a drip is to say they are out of touch or not nice, as opposed to a
post-nasal drip which is something else.
" . . . then youíve got another
Original: Balki meant to say, of
course, that Larry had "another think coming."
"Well, Cousin, there are none so
blind as those who will not ski."
Original: The expression Balki
was going for this time was, "There are none so blind as those who will not
"Cousin, Iím not gonna give Marge
any more food and thatís vinyl."
Original: Balki was trying to
tell Larry that his decision was "final," not vinyl.
"Cousin, you donít know anything
Original: This was Balki's
reaction when Larry mentioned that he was going to visit Danforth
Pharmaceuticals. Balki mistook that pharmaceuticals had something to do
"You should, uh, look into becoming one of the, uh . . . . whatta they
call, uh . . . inferior decorators."
Balki made this malaprop as Ed Norton, and mistaking an interior decorator for
an "inferior" one is something both characters can easily be imagined
"Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to conceive."
This is one of those classic Balki-isms which almost makes more sense in its
accidental form than the original saying, which is "Oh, what a tangled web
we weave when first we practice to deceive."
"Oh Cousin, youíre making a mountain out of mohair."
I don't know how difficult it is to make a mountain out of mohair, but the
original saying here is "You're making a mountain out of a molehill,"
or rather that someone is making much more of a situation than there really is.
"You jump to absurd contusions . . .
What Balki meant to say was Larry jumps to absurd "conclusions," not
" . . . you start to diaper-ventilate
. . . "
This time Balki meant to say "hyperventilate." I don't know how
one would diaper-ventilate but it probably wouldn't be too pleasant.
"Oh, youíre memory bank is no
This is a cute pun on the term "memory bank," which often refers to
how much memory a person can store in their brain or the amount of memory a
computer can store. Balki takes the term "bank" to be the same
as a financial institution where funds can be overdrawn.
"Let me just check and see if your
pupils are annihilated."
Balki says this as he checks Larry's eyes with a small flashlight the way I
doctor would do when checking to see if someone's eyes are "dilated,"
or rather if the pupils remain open even when exposed to bright light.
"We go everywhere together. Weíre
This is one of those classic Balki-isms where the mistaken word somehow fits
almost as perfectly as the intended one, in his case Balki wanted to say he and
Larry were "inseparable," instead of "insufferable."
"Cousin, you should have at least half."
This was Balki's response after Larry said that he thought the percentage owed
to an agent would be fifty percent. Obviously Balki is not very good at
"Iím just your average Joe Blowniki on the street."
The term "Joe Blow" is used to refer to an average guy. Joe
Blowniki must be the Myposian version of this expression.
"I know you like the back of my head."
One usually says they know something "like the back of my
hand." Since a person is often looking at the backs of their hands it
is assumed they are very familiar with them. It's a little harder to be so
familiar with the back of your head, however.
"I know the perfect opening act: New Kids in the Flock."
We're not sure if this is an actual Myposian group or if Balki just
misunderstood the name of the band New Kids on the Block.
"What if I get a hog in my throat?"
A person usually says they have "a frog in my throat" if they are
choked up or can't speak or sing clearly.
"Well, not really. My crock potís at home in the kitchen."
This was Balki's reaction when Mr. Enright asked him if he were ready to
cook. Balki took this literally instead of realizing that Mr. Enright was
simply asking if he was ready to give an energetic performance.
"Maybe someday Iíll win a Grandma."
As Larry would explain, the awards in the music industry are called
"Grammies." But Balki still thought Larry meant little old
"Past the teeth and over the gums, look out eyes here it comes!"
Balki uses this expression, which is usually used when someone is about to eat
or drink something (and goes "Past the teeth and over the gums, look out
stomach here it comes") to refer to something they are about to watch
"Cousin, you are wasting your breath mints."
Of course, Balki simply meant to say that Larry was "wasting his
"Mr. Enright, you are a dishonest person and I wash my face of you."
When you tell someone "I wash my hands of you," it means you will no
longer have anything to do with them. We're not sure if the saying holds
true if you wash your face instead.
"Mr. Enright is being sued and the man who really sung on my video has a
record out which is expected to go plutonium."
As Larry would correct, Balki meant to say that the record was to go
"platinum." Plutonium is a hazardous radioactive material out of
which it would probably not be a good idea to make record plaques commemorating
"Oh, just as sleazy as pie."
When says something is "easy as pie," it means something is very
easy. We're not sure what it means when something is as "sleazy as
"Wait one finger-lickiní moment . . . "
What Balki probably meant to say here is, "Wait one cotton-pickin' moment
. . . " "Finger-lickin'" invokes thoughts of Kentucky Fried
"I feel that we all understand each other better if we can speak in another
manís tongue, walk in another manís shoes, see the world through another
manís binoculars . . . "
Most people would have said, "See the world through another man's
eyes," as opposed to "binoculars."
"Thatís not the only weapon in my Arsenio."
Balki meant to say "in my arsenal," a cache of weapons. Arsenio
is, of course, a reference to then talk show host Arsenio Hall.
"Oh Cousin, itís a real Kojak moment."
Balki should have said the picture of himself on the poster was "a real
Kodak moment," which was the catchphrase of that film company then.
Kojak was a bald, lollipop sucking detective played by the late Telly Savalas.
"I never use the phrase, ĎHeck if I know.í It makes me sound
As Larry would soon explain, Balki meant to say "uninformed" instead
"Thank you, my fair Chairlady."
Not really a Balki-ism but a friendly play on words, Balki uses the title of
the musical "My Fair Lady" to address the Chairlady in this cute way.
"If elected, I promise to be firm yet flexible, tough yet vulnerable, soft
Balki's first two comparatives work well as part of an election campaign.
The last, "soft yet absorbent," makes it sound like he's a brand of
"Happy? Iím erratic!"
In this case Balki meant to say "ecstatic," meaning very, very happy,
instead of "erratic," which means unstable and unpredictable.
"Get out of the city council!"
A twist on Balki's classic Balki-ism, "Get out of the city" (which is
a twist of the phrase "Get out of town") has Balki saying, "Get
out of the city council!" after hearing that Larry saw the mayor of Chicago
while at lunch.
"Itís not the money and you never taught me Bo Diddley."
Balki meant to say, "You never taught me diddley," which means Larry
has taught him nothing. Bo Diddley is the name of a famous musician who
was instrumental in helping to transition music from blues to rock and roll.
"Cousin, donít pressure cook me."
Balki simply wanted to tell Larry, "Don't pressure me" when he had an
important decision to make. Pressure cooking is a specific style of
cooking in which a sealed pot is heated to create a pressure of steam inside,
cooking food more quickly.
"You pouting Thomas."
Balki takes the term "Doubting Thomas" or one who does not believe,
and changes it to "pouting Thomas," which fits Larry's often pouting
"Liar, liar, pants for hire!"
The original term, "Liar, liar, pants on fire!" is a common
expression for school kids to yell at one another when they catch someone
telling a lie.
" . . . and theyíre gonna be wiggliní their yellow toes of Texas."
Balki makes this joke on the classic song, The Yellow Rose of Texas,
when talking about how the Texans will dance at the party he's catering.
"Itís just kind of fun talking in a Texan drool."
As Larry would point out, Balki meant to say Texas "drawl."
" . . . most of me stopped growing when I was sixteen although I donít
think my nose got the message."
This was Balki's response when Larry said that if he wanted his business to
succeed he would have to grow. Balki took this to mean himself, literally,
instead of the business growing.
"Okay, okay, maybe Iíve let my belt out a couple of notches."
Another bit of confusion when Larry tried to clarify the previous
"grow" misunderstanding and said he was talking about expansion.
Again Balki took this personally instead of realizing Larry was referring to his
"Heís sort of my . . . tormentor."
This hilarious turn of phrase was innocently said by Balki who was trying to
tell Gunther that Larry was his "mentor." Balki will never know
how accurate his malaprop actually was!
"I hope Iím not breading myself too thin."
Balki was trying to say he hoped he wasn't "spreading" himself too
thin, or taking on too much. This Balki-ism works well, though, because
"breading myself too thin" works as well and fits better in the
"Cherish the thought!"
Balki meant to say, "Perish the thought," or basically, "Get
that thought out of your mind."
"Now weíre up the creek without a poodle!"
Balki was trying to quote the expression that they were "up the creek
without a paddle," that is to say they were in big trouble.
"You think I have ESPN?"
Balki hasn't made this mistake in a while, but it's a repeat of the classic
twist on the term "ESP" or "extra-sensory perception" being
confused with the sports cable channel.
"Cousin, we are running this kitchen like a well-soiled machine."
Balki meant to say that they were running the kitchen like a "well-oiled
machine," meaning that it was running smoothly.
"Well-soiled" would have been appropriate if they had been making more
of a mess.
"Well, thank you. Now how was the food?"
Balki asks this when Billy Joe Bob said that the party guests loved the
"vittles" he had conjured up for them, not understanding that
"vittles" is a cowboy term for food.
"I guess itís true what they say: you canít separate the Texan from his
If anyone knows what original phrase this was supposed to be twisting, let us
know! It *could* be a spin on the phrase "You can't separate the men
from the boys" or "You can't separate the sheep from the goats"
or even "You can't separate the wheat from the chaff," but none of
these really seems to fit right?
"No, Mr. Ye-of-Little-Face."
Balki said this to Larry when Larry was doubting him, but what he actually
meant to say was "ye of little faith."
"Need I say less?"
The expression is actually, "Need I say more?" Once again Balki
accidentally says the opposite of what he means!
"A Mypiot with a fully-loaded over shoulder boulder holder!"
This is the way Balki described his fowl-killing sling, the bonk-a-duck.
But the term "over the shoulder boulder holder" often refers to . . .
something else. (Think about what Balki thought Larry wanted to buy with
their money from the shopping spree in Better Shop Around!)
"You can read me like a cheap
This is a Balki-ism which Balki has used before and is slightly more colorful
that the original phrase, "You can read me like a book."
"You know, you never cease to erase
What Balki meant to tell Larry was "You never seem to amaze me."
"Those Lucky Charms!"
Usually when one wants to say that certain people are lucky they call them
"lucky stiffs." Lucky Charms is a breakfast cereal that includes
colorful marshmallow pieces.
"Well, Cousin, it was just a simple
matter of fighting fire with Folgers."
Balki makes this wonderful turn of phrase after dousing a fire with coffee from
the burning coffee pot and then twisting the original phrase "fighting fire
with fire" with the coffee brand name Folgers.
"Oh, Cousin, look! Thereís a fire squisher!"
Apparently "squisher" is the way Balki interprets the word
"I want to preserve this moment for posteriors."
Of course, Balki meant to say he wanted to preserve this moment for
"Does the word Ďsix phases of the mooní mean anything to you?"
Obviously the phrase, "six phases of the moon," contains more than
just one word!
"Or do you want to just keep getting out there and sowing your mild
What Balki was attempting to say to Larry was, "sowing your wild
oats," which is a way to describe the way a single person may
wish to experience a variety of "relationships" before they settle
down and get married.
"I know you like I know my way to the bathroom."
This seems to be a rather unique way to express how well you really know a
person, and appears to be pure Balki!
"Listen, this test can determine whether or not a marriage should take
place beyond a shadow of a snout."
Balki meant to say "beyond the shadow of a doubt," meaning it would
take any doubt that Larry and Jennifer have about their marriage away.
"Sooner or later youíre going to have to mate or cut bait."
This is a very clever turn of phrase, considering that the subject is
marriage. The original expression is actually, "You're going to have
to fish or cut bait."
"I beg to back issue with you!"
One usually says they "beg issue" with you. "Back
issue" is any previous edition of a publication, such as a magazine.
to Season Seven Balki-isms