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Word of the Day
Monday, April 15, 2002

Definitions for spoonerism

  1. The transposition of usually initial sounds in a pair of words.
  2. the transposition of initial or other sounds of words, usually by accident, as in a blushing crow for a crushing blow.

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Citations for spoonerism
Some examples: ,
"The fish will be sherved in the selter," announced Brigadier Miles, when the siren had completed its third ululation. "Hullo, a spoonerism! Don't often achieve a spoonerism." E. M. Forester, "The Second Course: Three Courses and a Dessert," The Life to Come and Other Short Stories, 1972
Origin of spoonerism
1895-1900
Spoonerism is derived from the name of Reverend William Archibald Spooner, a scholar at New College in Oxford who was known for making such verbal slips. The term entered English around 1900.
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