Spoonerism

I do this all the time.  Who knew it had a name:

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, Oxford, who was notoriously prone to this tendency.   It is also known as a marrowsky, after a Polish count who suffered from the same impediment.   While spoonerisms are commonly heard as slips of the tongue resulting from unintentionally getting one’s words in a tangle, they can also be used intentionally as a play on words.

  • “Three cheers for our queer old dean!” (dear old queen, referring to Queen Victoria)
  • “Is it kisstomary to cuss the bride?” (customary to kiss)
  • “The Lord is a shoving leopard.” (a loving shepherd)
  • “A blushing crow.” (crushing blow)
  • “A well-boiled icicle” (well-oiled bicycle)
  • “You were fighting a liar in the quadrangle.” (lighting a fire)
  • “Is the bean dizzy?” (dean busy)
  • “Someone is occupewing my pie. Please sew me to another sheet.” (occupying my pew…show me to another seat)

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