What is a spoonerism?

A spoonerism is a where consonants and vowels are swapped in speech.  They are named after the Reverand William Archibald Spooner, a nineteenth-century warden of New College, Oxford.

The reverend was prone to getting his words mixed up and many a spoonerism has been attributed to him.

Here are some of the more amusing spoonerisms that we know of:

  • We must drink a toast to the queer old dean [dear old queen]
  • We’ll have the hags flung out [the flags hung out]
  • It is kisstomary to cuss the bride [customary to kiss]
  • Cattle ships and bruisers [Battle ships and cruisers]
  • A blushing crow [crushing blow]
  • A well-boiled icicle [well-oiled bicycle]
  • The Lord is a shoving leopard [a loving shepherd]
  • You were fighting a liar in the quadrangle [lighting a fire]
  • Is the bean dizzy [dean busy]?

Why not send us your spoonerisms for inclusion in this list!