spoonerism
noun Etymology: William A. Spooner died 1930 English clergyman & educator Date: 1900 a transposition of usually initial sounds of two or more words (as in tons of soil for sons of toil)

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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  • spoonerism — (n.) 1900, but perhaps as early as 1885, involuntary transposition of sounds in two or more words (Cf. a well boiled icicle for a well oiled bicycle; scoop of boy trouts for troop of Boy Scouts ), in reference to the Rev. William A. Spooner (1844 …   Etymology dictionary

  • Spoonerism — The Revd W. A. Spooner (1844–1930), Dean and Warden of New College, Oxford, has given his name to this most endearing form of linguistic error involving the transposition of letters, although those commonly attributed to him are likely to be… …   Modern English usage

  • spoonerism — ► NOUN ▪ an error in speech in which the initial sounds or letters of two or more words are accidentally transposed, often to humorous effect, as in you have hissed the mystery lectures. ORIGIN named after the English scholar Revd W. A. Spooner… …   English terms dictionary

  • spoonerism — [spo͞o′nər iz΄əm] n. [after Rev. W. A. Spooner (1844 1930), of New College, Oxford, famous for such slips] an unintentional interchange of sounds, usually initial sounds, in two or more words (Ex.: “a well boiled icicle” for “a well oiled… …   English World dictionary

  • Spoonerism — A spoonerism is an error in speech or deliberate play on words in which corresponding consonants, vowels, or morphemes are switched (see metathesis). It is named after the Reverend William Archibald Spooner (1844–1930), Warden of New College,… …   Wikipedia

  • spoonerism — UK [ˈspuːnəˌrɪz(ə)m] / US [ˈspunərˌɪzəm] noun [countable] Word forms spoonerism : singular spoonerism plural spoonerisms a mistake in speaking in which someone pronounces some sounds or parts of words in the wrong order and makes a funny change… …   English dictionary

  • spoonerism — noun /ˈspuːnərɪzəm/ 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 …   Wiktionary

  • spoonerism — [19] The term spoonerism commemorates the name of the Reverend William Spooner (1844–1930), Warden of New College, Oxford, who reputedly was in the habit of producing utterances with the initial letters of words reversed, often to comic effect… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • Spoonerism —    The Reverend William A. Spooner (1844 1930), an Anglican clergyman, had a habit of transposing the initial sounds of words, forming a ludicrous combination. Whether his slips of tongue were accidental or simply the result of absentmindedness… …   Dictionary of eponyms

  • spoonerism — [[t]spu͟ːnərɪzəm[/t]] spoonerisms N COUNT A spoonerism is a mistake made by a speaker in which the first sounds of two words are changed over, often with a humorous result, for example when someone says wrong load instead of long road …   English dictionary

  • spoonerism — [19] The term spoonerism commemorates the name of the Reverend William Spooner (1844–1930), Warden of New College, Oxford, who reputedly was in the habit of producing utterances with the initial letters of words reversed, often to comic effect… …   Word origins

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