Monday, May 18, 2015

S for Spoonerisms

May 20th, 2015
ABC Wednesday

The letter is S - for Spoonerisms......

Definition -  an unintentional interchange of sounds, producing a phrase with a meaning entirely different from the one intended.

Example -  we'll have the hags flung out    -     we'll have the flags hung out

Of course this produces many funny witticisms, and we have the Rev. William Archibald Spooner to thank for these sayings that "fickle our tummy bone", so to speak.

The Reverend Spooner was an Anglican priest and scholar  (an albino with poor eyesight) who studied at New College,Oxford, and then went on to lecture there for sixty years in history, philosophy and divinity.

He was a kind and hospitable man, with a keen intellect, which contributed to the manifestation of sound switching for which he became well known.  His tongue barely kept up with his thought processes.

Spooner was born in London in 1844, and he is buried in Grasmere Cemetery in the Lake District, but he left behind this marvelous word-play, some examples of which follow!  Enjoy......

nosy little cook                            cozy little nook

our shoving leopard                    our loving shepherd

it's roaring with pain                   it's pouring with rain

wave the sails                             save the whales

bedding wells                             wedding bells

our queer old Dean                     our dear old Queen

hiss and lear                                listen hear

Your turn now - can you think of any good spoonerisms???

Lots more Ss here at ABC Wednesday, with thanks to Roger, Denise and strong and steady helpers.

p.s.  Thanks to Martin Chilton for some of the information about the Rev. Spooner.


Reader Wil said...

This is a real fun post! I don't know any spoonerisms in English. I know some in Dutch.
I wish you a great week.
Wil, ABCW Team

Barb said...

So clever! If I can think of any, I'll be back.

ellen b. said...

Loved reading your post! Of course I won't think of one until I'm sleepless at 2am!!

Meoww said...

Oiled the bicycle. boiled the icicle.

I love spoonerisms! Lovely choice for s word!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I always liked 'foggy as sea poop'. (A little naughty,as my grandmother would have said, but I raised three boys, so...) Fun.

Roger Owen Green said...

one of my favorite linguistic devices!


Trubes said...

Such a clever and funny gentleman The Rev Spooner, just imagine being in one of his lectures... The bind moggles! I just created that!
best wishes,
ABCW team.

Beverley Baird said...

What an interesting post - I knew a bit about this but thanks for adding more detail.