Learn English » Word Power - Spoonerism


Spoonerism refers to the word or words that are pronounced wrongly by the slip of the tongue. A few times we may interchange the words or letters when we speak or write. The interchanged words or letters give a new meaning and completely alter the meaning of what we intend to say.

For example:
Sad Ballad – Bad Sallad
Jelly beans – Belly Jeans
Cute Baby – Bute Caby
Dean is busy – Bean is disy or dizzy

The term spoonerism is named after William Archibald Spooner, who worked as a warden in New College, Oxford University in 1920s. He suffered from the brain deficient function called Dysgraphia. Due to this deficiency, he used to interchange the words very often as mentioned above. This unique way of speaking became very popular in the United Kingdom. And in a few years, it was named spoonerism.

Spoonerism is different from Dyslexia. Dyslexia is a kind of learning deficiency caused due to improper or poor functions of brain. For instance, writing the numbers upside down or in inverted image format, etc.

Spoonerism is possible in every language! Spoonerism can be used as a vocabulary builder and a fun English game.

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