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?
Since I’m such a wordsmith, I love spoonerisms. Lots of times I’ll tell my kids to go shake a tower (take a shower).
Now you’re going to get me started on these!
(BTW, you’ll get a chuckle out of what I just posted!)
Have you read The Vicar of Nibbleswicke by Roald Dahl? It must be based on William Spooner…one of our family favorites!