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SPOONERISM

SPOONERISM. [From the name of the Reverend W. A. Spooner (1844–1930), Dean and Warden of New College, Oxford]. The transposition of the initial sounds of words, as in ket of seas (set of keys). The eponymous Spooner was reputed to make errors of this type, and a number of utterances are quoted as ‘original spoonerisms’: a well-boiled icicle (a well-oiled bicycle), a scoop of Boy Trouts (a troop of Boy Scouts), and You have hissed all my mystery lectures and tasted a whole worm. See SLIP OF THE TONGUE.

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spoonerism

spoon·er·ism / ˈspoōnəˌrizəm/ • n. a verbal error in which a speaker accidentally transposes the initial sounds or letters of two or more words, often to humorous effect, as in the sentence you have hissed the mystery lectures, accidentally spoken instead of the intended sentence you have missed the history lectures.

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spoonerism

spoonerism a verbal error in which a speaker accidentally transposes the initial sounds or letters of two or more words. The word comes (in the early 20th century) from the Revd William Archibald Spooner (1844–1930), Warden of New College, an English scholar who reputedly made such errors in speaking, although many of those now attributed to him are probably apocryphal.

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spoonerism

spoonerism accidental transposition of initial sounds or syllables of words associated in a context. XIX. f. name of the Rev. W. A. Spooner (1844–1930), who was said to have been addicted to this; see -ISM
.

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