Friday Fun: Spoonerisms


Do you know what a spoonerism is? We all do it.

A spoonerism is an involuntary reversal of sounds in two or more words, with humorous effect.

For example, “a well-boiled icicle” for “a well-oiled bicycle” or a “scoop of boy trouts” for “troop of Boy Scouts” or a “blushing crow” for a “crushing blow.”

The term spoonerism was coined around 1885.

Spoonerisms were named after William Spooner (1844-1930), an English clergyman, warden of New College, Oxford, and scholar of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He was famous for such mistakes.

In one spoonerism attributed to him, he meant “May I show you to another seat?” but said, “May I sew you to another sheet?”

Can you imagine having a word named after your verbal slip-ups?

But wouldn’t it have been fun to have gone to church, week after week, sitting on the edge of your chair, waiting for a new spoonerism to be delivered by the good Reverend?

Can you think of any spoonerisms that have slipped from your mouth? Share in the comment section for the chance to win a copy of Amish Values for Your Family!

Start the Lancaster County series today! Pick up a copy of The Choice ebook for FREE from AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Christian Book Distributors!

Are you new here? You might want to subscribe to my email updates, or follow me on FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+, or Instagram.

About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Liz Vander Lee says:

    My mother-in-law’s classic Spoonerism is still remembered decades later by her adult children. She was reading Ephesians 6:16, where we are admonished to hold high the shield of faith, to “quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” I’ll let you figure out her slip!

  2. Debra Harbour says:

    Spoonerism?? I always called it backing talkwards. Oops!! I mean talking backwards. lol Something is always coming out of my mouth wrong.

  3. Sonja says:

    How cool, I have never heard that expression before or any sayings like that. That’s new to me.

  4. Lisa Cowell says:

    I have never heard the term spoonerism before, but am familiar with the concept. I don’t know of any except the ones done on purpose on the old HeeHaw show, ie. Rindercella slopped her dripper. The whole tale was told in this fashion.

  5. Sierra Faith says:

    I can’t think of any at the moment!!!!! But I know I am always slipping up on my words because I talk to fast!!! My favorite that my brother always says is, the day before tomorrow, instead of the day before yesterday!! It always cracks us up!!!! Never heard it called Spoonerisms before!

  6. Deanna S says:

    Well, I mess this one up often.. My soldier hurts real good! 🙂
    My shoulder hurts bad…. Spoonerism is a new word for me… Sounds like a fun book to read…