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A transposition of sounds of two or more words, especially a ludicrous one, such as Let me sew you to your sheet for Let me show you to your seat.

[After William Archibald Spooner (1844-1930), British cleric and scholar.]


(Linguistics) the transposition of the initial consonants or consonant clusters of a pair of words, often resulting in an amusing ambiguity of meaning, such as hush my brat for brush my hat
[C20: named after W. A. Spooner (1844–1930), English clergyman renowned for slips of this kind]


(ˈspu nəˌrɪz əm)

the transposition of initial or other sounds of words, as in a blushing crow for a crushing blow.
[1895–1900; after W. A. Spooner (1844–1930), English clergyman noted for such slips]


the transposition of initial or other sounds of words, usually by accident, as “queer dean” for “dear Queen.” [After the Rev. W. A. Spooner, 1844-1930, noted for such slips.] — spoonerize, v.
See also: Language


The unintentional, often ludicrous, transposition of the opening sounds of two or more words, as in “tons of soil” instead of “sons of toil;” named for W.A. Spooner (1844–1930), an English clergyman renowned for doing this.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.spoonerism - transposition of initial consonants in a pair of words
slip of the tongue - an accidental and usually trivial mistake in speaking


[ˈspuːnərɪzəm] Ntrastrueque m verbal, trastrueque m de palabras


References in periodicals archive ?
1930: The Rev William Spooner, who gave the world spoonerisms, died.
I couldn't resist breaking in: "Did you hear the audience?" They seemed interested, so I delivered a brief impromptu lecture on how spoonerisms work and who Dr.
The second half of the book is a compendium of language games--acronyms, euphemisms, spoonerisms, malapropisms, oxymorons, tautologies--I won't name them all but you get the idea!
Elton said it was an "honour" to front the lecture, adding: "I grew up loving Ronnie and hope the news I am to give a talk in his name doesn't leave him spitting spiritedly splenetic spoonerisms in comedy heaven."
Marian, or Funky Maz as she was called back in the day, was really into spoonerisms then, so turning her nickname back to front was, in my 19-year-old brain, hilarious.
French poet and novelist Queneau (1903-1976), co-founder of the experimental writing group OULIPO, famously rewrote one anecdote about a man on a bus in 99 different rhetorical styles, from the sonnet to Cockney dialect, passive voice, official letter, haiku, rhyming slang, and Spoonerisms. This 5x7" edition contains additional style exercises by Queneau, plus new retellings about the man on the bus with cyberpunk and Beat inflections, from 10 new contributors including Jonathan Lethem, Blake Butler, and Jesse Ball.
His favourite method of speaking was a form of spoonerisms all of his own and he could twist most sentences into the daftest of meanings.
He was an albino and suffered defective eyesight and it is thought that this caused some of his verbal confusions which were later dubbed "spoonerisms".
Linguistically speaking, slips of the tongue are considered linguistic errors, also known as spoonerisms. What is a spoonerism?
From Spoonerisms to how the brain gains meaning from sound, this is packed with fine revelations perfect for literary and general collections alike!
Other standout performances came from David Haig who played the head of CID with a nice line in spoonerisms and tongue-tied rage and James Dreyfus who provided camp relief in the form of Constable Goody, notable for his constant and unwavering pursuit of Constable Maggie Habib.
Here Wiley announced another major concern: language's maze--reversals (as in spoonerisms), homonyms, puns, and so forth.