While trying to retrieve my coat from the cloakroom of the college cafeteria, I realized it was gone and said, “Somebody stoat my coal!” Wendel Rojik, a fraternity brother overhearing my comment, got excited and told me I’d uttered a “Spoonerism”. I’d never heard of Spoonerisms until that time.
According to the Star Master Guide blog site, Spoonerisms are named after the Reverend William A. Spooner (1844-1930), an English clergyman who uttered them frequently… and apparently involuntarily. They are the amusing result of the transpositions of sounds in a pair of words or phrases.
John, a student at the Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, New Hampshire, (the author of the blog site) offered the following examples:
The Reverend Mr. Spooner referred to Queen Victoria as “our queer old dean.” He also supposedly said, “Is the bean dizzy?”, “When the boys come back from France, we’ll have the hags flung out.”, “The Lord is a shoving leopard.”, “It is kisstomary to cuss the bride.”, “Mardon me padam, this pie is occupewed. Can I sew you to another sheet?.”, “You have hissed my mystery lectures; you have tasted the whole worm.”
Archie Campbell (1914-1987), a frequent guest on the Hee-Haw television show, used Spoonerisms to craft an hilarious comedy bit. He simply took the story of Cinderella and replaced numerous phrases with Spoonerisms. The result was “The story of Rindercella.” In the following video, someone has taken Archie Campbell’s story and used it to replace the soundtrack of a Betty Boop cartoon. I hope you enjoy it.
Supposedly we all utter Spoonerisms at one time or another. I really wouldn’t know. As far as I know, that was the one and only time I ever did.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go and shake a tower.