Spoonerism meaning

spo͝onə-rĭzəm
Frequency:
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.
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An unintentional or intentional interchange of sounds, usually initial sounds, in two or more words (Ex.: “a well-boiled icicle” for “a well-oiled bicycle”)
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A play on words on a phrase in which the initial (usually consonantal) sounds of two or more of the main words are transposed.

The spoonerism "The queer old dean" (instead of "the dear old Queen") is attributed to Rev. Spooner.

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Origin of spoonerism

  • After William Archibald Spooner (1844–1930), British cleric and scholar

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Named after the Reverend W. A. Spooner (1844-1930), who is supposed to have habitually made such slip-ups.

    From Wiktionary