Saturday, April 2, 2011
SPOONERISM: an error in speech in which corresponding consonants, vowels or morphemes are switched (see metathesis) The condition was named after the Reverend William Archibald Spooner, a British cleric, scholar and professor. Though these examples might be apocryphal, he was attributed to have uttered "a blushing crow" (for "a crushing blow"), "you've tasted two worms" (for "you've wasted two terms"); and when giving a toast to "our queer old dean" (for "our dear old Queen").
My friend Patty's husband Chuck has some classic ones:
"Wibel and Orbel White" for Wilbur and Orville Wright
"Fee fries" for French fries
"Sank Franatra" for Frank Sinatra
My sister-in-law Kay was also known for her Spoonerisms. My brother Bode was always cute with his answers and had a large collection of retorts if the answer to a question was an obvious "Yes". He would invariably answer, "Is the Pope Catholic?" or "Was Attila The Hun naughty?" or "Does the bear shit in the woods?"
One day Kay, thinking she could also be cute, answered, "Does the Pope poop on the pulpit?"
Another time Bode asked Kay to call the hardware store to see if they had the size of "steel drill bits" he needed. Kay asked them if they had "Strill dill bites"!
Steve Forbes, when he was running for President, said "The stack is decked" when he meant to say, "The deck is stacked".