I’m trying to find a word that has roughly the same meaning as “anachronism”, but rather than incongruous time periods, it’s the word meanings which don’t line up/don’t make sense with each other.

The sentence which inspired this question was someone saying that they had a few more “sparkles to unfold” (as opposed to secrets, perhaps?). This feels incongruous as sparkles do not unfold. I see examples of mismatched metaphors like this a lot, but I don’t have a word for what they are.

  • You've obviously never unfolded a gift in sparkly wrapping paper.
    – Hot Licks
    Feb 19, 2019 at 21:02
  • 1
    Could be a malapropism
    – Jim
    Feb 19, 2019 at 21:22

2 Answers 2


That would likely be a mixed metaphor:

mismatched combination of metaphors

This definition and a description of about 20 other types of metaphors can be found at:

Changing Minds

  • Best answer, but single-word?
    – user22542
    Feb 19, 2019 at 23:20

"Incongruity" might be the most apt you can find, and you actually have it already.

incongruity, (n): the quality or state of being incongruous


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