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A spoonerism is a play on words in which corresponding consonents that is , vowels, or morphemes are switched, named after the Reverend William Archibald Spooner, Warden of New College, Oxford, who was notoriously prone to this tendency. Many "spoonerisms" attributed to Spooner are believed to have actually been made up by Oxford students.


  • Sir, you have tasted two whole worms; you have hissed all my mystery lectures and been caught fighting a liar in the quad; you will leave Oxford by the next town drain. (Wasted two whole terms, Missed all my History lectures, caught Lighting a fire, and by the next down train...respectively)
    • Attributed to Spooner Cohen, J.M.; Cohen, M.J. (1979) [1960]. The Penguin Dictionary of Quotations. Penguin. ISBN 0-1405-1016-8. 
  • Let us drink to the Queer old dean.
    • Attributed to Spooner (Cohen & Cohen, [1960] 1979)
  • Boy, you have tasted two worms already . (Wasted two terms already )
    • Attributed to NCERT English TextBook [ 2007 ] .
  • Names can be spoonerisms also, like Willie Nelson (Nellie Wilson) and Bobby Hall (hobby ball). Thousands of these can be read at Estonian and Finnish Wikiquotes.

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