Caricature of Charles H. Workman. The caption reads, "Through every passion raging." The accompanying biography reads, "The only part of him which gets tired is his tongue, and occasionally the oft-repeated lines have got muddled. 'Self-constricted ruddles', 'his striggles were terruffic', and 'deloberately rib me' are a few of the spoonerisms he has perpetrated. Success has not spoilt him. He is a professional humourist, who has been known to make an Englishman laugh at breakfast."
Most Spoonerims were not invented by Reverend William A. Spooner, but by his students (New York Times, 1928)
An example is saying "The Lord is a shoving leopard" instead of "The Lord is a loving shepherd." While spoonerisms are commonly heard as slips of the tongue resulting from unintentionally getting one's words in a tangle, they can also be used intentionally as a play on words.
The boys of Aldro School, Eastbourne, [...] have been set the following task for the holidays: Discover and write down something about: The Old Lady of Threadneedle-street, a Spoonerism, a Busman's Holiday...
In 1937, The Times quoted a detective describing a man as "a bricklabourer's layer" and used "Police Court Spoonerism" as the headline.
A spoonerism is also known as a marrowsky, purportedly after a Polish count who suffered from the same impediment.
Most of the quotations attributed to Spooner are apocryphal; The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (3rd edition, 1979) lists only one substantiated spoonerism: "The weight of rages will press hard upon the employer" (instead of "rate of wages"). Spooner claimed that "The Kinquering Congs Their Titles Take" (in reference to a hymn) was his sole spoonerism. Most spoonerisms were probably never uttered by William Spooner himself but rather made up by colleagues and students as a pastime.Richard Lederer, calling "Kinkering Kongs their Titles Take" (with an alternative spelling) one of the "few" authenticated Spoonerisms, dates it to 1879, and he gives nine examples "attributed to Spooner, most of them spuriously." They are as follows:
"Three cheers for our queer old dean!" (rather than "dear old queen," which is a reference to Queen Victoria)
"Is it kisstomary to cuss the bride?" (as opposed to "customary to kiss")
"The Lord is a shoving leopard." (instead of "a loving shepherd")
"A blushing crow." ("crushing blow")
"A well-boiled icicle" ("well-oiled bicycle")
"You were fighting a liar in the quadrangle." ("lighting a fire")
"Is the bean dizzy?" ("Dean busy")
"Someone is occupewing my pie. Please sew me to another sheet." ("Someone is occupying my pew. Please show me to another seat.")
"You have hissed all my mystery lectures. You have tasted a whole worm. Please leave Oxford on the next town drain." ("You have missed all my history lectures. You have wasted a whole term. Please leave Oxford on the next down train.")
A newspaper column attributes this additional example to Spooner: "A nosey little cook." (as opposed to a "cozy little nook").
In modern terms, "spoonerism" generally refers to any changing of sounds in this manner.
On the TV series Hee Haw, comedian/writer Archie Campbell was well known for using spoonerisms in his skits, most famously the "Rindercella" skit.
In Maisie and the Pinny Gig by Ursula Dubosarsky, a little girl named Maisie has a recurrent dream about a giant guinea pig, which she calls a "pinny gig."
In Jim Henson's Muppet rendition of "The Frog Prince," the princess is under an enchantment by an evil witch forcing her to constantly speak in spoonerisms. Central to the story is her repeated plea that somebody "bake the hall in the candle of her brain," by which she really means "break the ball in the handle of her cane," referring to the orb in the witch's scepter on which her powers depend.
Popular stand-up comic Andrew Dice Clay utilizes deliberate spoonerisms often as an extension of his ignorant Brooklyn "greaser" persona.
The Washington, D.C. political comedy sketch group Capitol Steps has a long-standing tradition of performing a routine called "Lirty Dies" during every performance, which features a typically 10-minute-long barrage of rapid-fire topical spoonerisms. A few examples over the years range from "Resident Pagan" and the U.S.'s periodic practice of "Licking their Peaders" to the NSA "poopin' on Snutin" and "phugging everybody's bones."
The title character of Hank the Cowdog often makes this mistake, switching around opening sounds or even entire words, such as "I pushed the nose open with my door."
In his poem "Translation," Brian P. Cleary describes a boy named Alex who speaks in spoonerisms (like "shook a tower" instead of "took a shower"). Humorously, Cleary leaves the poem's final spoonerism up to the reader when he says,
He once proclaimed, "Hey, belly jeans"
When he found a stash of jelly beans. But when he says he pepped in stew
Comedian F. Chase Taylor was the star of the 1930s radio program Stoopnagle and Budd, in which his character, Colonel Stoopnagle, used spoonerisms. In 1945, he published a book, My Tale Is Twisted, consisting of 44 "spoonerised" versions of well-known children's stories. Subtitled "Wart Pun: Aysop's Feebles" and "Tart Pooh: Tairy and Other Fales," these included such tales as "Beeping Sleauty" for "Sleeping Beauty." The book was republished in 2001 by Stone and Scott Publishers as Stoopnagle's Tale is Twisted.
Also known for telling entire fairy tales using spoonerisms is "Zilch the Torysteller." He travels to Renaissance Faires across the United States and in England regaling audiences with hilarious versions of classic stories such as "Parunzel," "Jomeo and Ruliet," "Rindercella," and "Rittle Led Hiding Rood."
In the Mel Brooks film Robin Hood: Men in Tights, the Sheriff of Rottingham (Roger Rees) constantly speaks in spoonerisms. An example of this is the following: "Struckey has loxed again!" (He meant to say that "Loxley has struck again!")
The musicalRuthless! has a song called Unkie's Muncle with a spoonerism in every line. The title is a spoonerism of "monkey's uncle."
Kniferism and forkerism
As complements to spoonerism, Douglas Hofstadter used the nonce termskniferism and forkerism to refer to changing the syllables of two words, giving them a new meaning.[when?] Examples of so-called kniferisms include a British television newsreader once referring to the police at a crime scene removing a 'hypodeemic nerdle'; a television announcer once saying that "All the world was thrilled by the marriage of the Duck and Doochess of Windsor"; and during a live broadcast in 1931, radio presenter Harry von Zell accidentally mispronouncing U.S. President Herbert Hoover's name as "Hoobert Heever." Usage of these new terms has been limited; many sources count any syllable exchange as a spoonerism, regardless of location.
^ abSimonini, R. C. ((Dec., 1956)). "Phonemic and Analogic Lapses in Radio and Television Speech". American Speech (Duke University Press) 31 (4): 252–263. doi:10.2307/453412. JSTOR453412.Check date values in: |date= (help)