This week it’s time for a birdwalk inspired by a conversation with fellow writer Dennis Miller - a little wordplay – the spoonerism.
Spoonerisms are named after the Reverend William A. Spooner, who suffered from a speech disorder involving involuntary transposition of sounds in words, typically initial sounds. Though historians question the authenticity of many gaffes attributed to Reverend Spooner, lists of his gaffes typically include this bungled tribute to Queen Victoria, “Three cheers for our queer old dean!”
In tribute to Reverend Spooner, those who enjoy playing with language have mercilessly tweaked any number of perfectly fine stories, many of which can be found on Matthew Goldman’s Goonerisms Spalore, the most well known being the many versions of Indercella (in which our unhortunate feroine attends a bancy fall and slops her dripper).
For something a bit different, here’s Goldman’s take on the climax and denouement of another old fairy tale:
“May I come in, and hee your sitty prome?"
"Tho, Tho, a nousand times, Tho, " pied the crig, "Not by the chair of my hinny hin, hin!"
"Then I'll huff, and I'll duff, and I'll hoe your blouse down," growled the wolf.
And with that, the wolf chuffed up his peeks, blew the smith to housereens, and sat down to a dine finner of roast sau and pigerkraut.
If you haven’t indulged yourself in this manner before, take the hull by the borns & spoonerize the following list of random well-known names:
Thanks for putting up with this week’s wirdbalk. Please comment with any favorite spoonerized names, or a spoonerization of your own name.
My thanks go out to this week’s sources, etymonline.com, Spoonerisms Galore, & the OED.
I write for teens, narrate audio books, bake bread, play music, and ponder the wonder of words in a foggy little town on California's central coast.