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Spoonerism

 

Techniques > Use of language > Figures of speech > Spoonerism

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Spoonerism is the exchange of letters or sounds between two words, often with comic effect.

Example

Search every crook and nanny! ('Search every nook and cranny')

Bum on caby, fight my liar. (v'Come on baby, light my fire').

Gets low, folks. ('Let's go, folks').

Discussion

A common form of Spoonerism is the transposition of initial letters, although other letters and even sounds may be exchanged.

Spoonerism can just be a speech error and is named after the Reverend William Archibald Spooner (1844–1930), Warden of New College, Oxford, who often made this slip. It is also used plays where characters also have this affliction but make amusing Spoonerisms.

Classification: Rearrangement

See also

Confusion principle, Malapropism

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