Spoonerisms: remembering William Spooner

July 25, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

On the anniversary of the birth of the Rev William Spooner, we honour his unintentional comic interchange of sounds, known as spoonerisms.

Spooner, who died in 1930, was an Anglican priest and scholar, he studied at New College, Oxford, before lecturing there for 60 years in history, philosophy and divinity.

He was apparently an amiable, kind and hospitable man though absent-minded. He also had a keen intellect, which is where his problems began. His tongue barely kept up with his thought processes resulting in an unintentional interchange of sounds, producing a phrase with a meaning entirely different from the one intended. Spooner is said to have disliked the reputation gained for getting his words muddled. Some examples:

Calling a famous Irish play “The Ploughboy of the Western World. (Playboy)

“Blushing crow” for “crushing blow.”

“The Lord is a shoving leopard” (Loving shepherd).

” A well-boiled icicle” for “well-oiled bicycle.”

“I have in my bosom a half-warmed fish” (for half-formed wish), supposedly said in a speech to Queen Victoria.

A toast to “our queer old dean” instead of to “our dear old Queen.”

Upon dropping his hat: “Will nobody pat my hiccup?”

“Go and shake a tower” (Go and take a shower).

At a wedding: “It is kisstomary to cuss the bride.”

Paying a visit to a college official: “Is the bean dizzy?”

“Such Bulgarians should be vanished…” (Such vulgarians should be banished).

Addressing farmers as “ye noble tons of soil”.

And, the classic: “Mardon me padom, you are occupewing my pie. May I sew you to another sheet?”

Disciplining an unruly student: “Sir, you have hissed all my mystery lessons and been caught fighting a liar in the quad. Having tasted two whole worms, You will leave by the next town drain” (down train)

“The weight of rages will press hard upon the employer”.

“Kinkering Congs Their Titles Take” (Conquering Kings)




Odd news from around the world

Would-be thief breaks into store and steals cash machine, dumps it after discovers it’s broken and empty: “A WOULD-BE thief who broke into a shop and hauled an ATM into the back of his hatchback has found the machine broken and empty. Police are hunting a man who broke into a store on Bryants Rd at Loganholme about 11.10pm on Wednesday night. Police say the man broke in through the back door of the Asian Gifts and Groceries store and stole the ATM, managing to get it into his dark-coloured hatchback. It was the only thing he stole, but it was quickly dumped when he realised it’s worth. The man was wearing a brown hooded jumper with a white pattern on the front, tracksuit pants and a balaclava. Police are still hunting the man.”

Driver’s £80,000 Bentley wrecked after it is driven into a wall when she left it at car wash: “A marketing executive who left her £80k Bentley at a car wash had to return 15 minutes later following a call from the police informing her it had been driven into a wall. Jessica Sawyer, 30, handed over the keys to the black soft-top convertible valet at the Wash and Shine car wash in Cheetham Hill, Manchester, as she went to work. But just 15 minutes later she was called by police after the car crashed into a wall in the reception area of the car wash. The collision left the vehicle’s bodywork completely wrecked to the tune of £48,000 and also destroyed part of the car wash building. Officers told Jessica that the driver may have mistaken the accelerator pedal for the brake on the automatic car. They were however unable to speak to him as he fled the scene and has still not been traced.”

Japanese women paid to put adverts on their THIGHS to catch the attention of men: “An advertising agency has hit upon a unique way of catching the attention of people living in ad-saturated Tokyo – use women’s thighs as a living billboard. Consumers in the Japanese megalopolis are notoriously hard to reach because of the sheer abundance of billboards, neon signs and huge TV screens pumping out commercials, so the WIT agency decided to put ads on a place men are happy to pay attention to. ‘It’s an absolutely perfect place to put an advertisement as it’s what guys are eager to look at and girls are OK to expose,’ said Hidenori Atsumi, the CEO of WIT. And it’s proving popular – so far more than 3,000 women have signed up to the scheme, which uses temporary tattoos of products or company logos. ITV reports that in order to be a walking billboard, participants must be 18-years-old and are required to have at least 20 friends on social media networks.

Man wins $1 million following fortune cookie advice: “THEY’RE the post-dinner treat renowned for their cryptic messages, but a fortune cookie was right on the money for one US man with the message “You will soon come into a lot of gold.” The advice inspired Massachusetts resident William Johnson to buy a $11 scratch lotto ticket the following day. He waited a few days before scratching the results, but when he did, found himself $1.08 million richer. He chose to collect the money in cash, receiving a one-off payment of $699,000 according to the Massachusetts State Lottery. Mr Johnson and his wife are now deciding what to do with the money, but are thinking about buying a lake house, the Lottery reports.”

Armed robber who broke into Indonesian house interrupts crime to feed and cradle crying baby while mother is tied up: “A violent armed robber who broke into a house interrupted his crime to feed and cradle a crying baby. The robber, who is a father, became perturbed during the robbery when he heard the baby crying and asked the tied-up mother what the child needed. As the mother and the baby’s nanny remained bound at their home in Tangarang, 20 miles west of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, the robber then proceeded to mix baby formula, feed the child and rock him in his arms until he fell asleep. Jakarta police senior commander Herry Heryawan said the burglar, Kojek Mista, was unable to ignore his fatherly impulses and had to interrupt his crime – in which he and four other violent men, broke into the house with guns, swords, knives and crowbars – to care for the baby. The crooks were arrested at a house in west Jakarta later, when police seized two motorcycles, a machete and a crowbar, among other items.”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.


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