There’s a holiday for everything these days. But what writer would want to pass up one that honors accidental turns of phrase? Yes, July 22 is Spoonerism Day.
For those of you unsure, Spoonerisms are words or phrases in which letters or syllables get swapped. They are named after Reverend W. A. Spooner (1844-1930), who was Dean and Warden of New College in Oxford, England, and is reputed to have made these verbal slips frequently. Some classics of his reportedly include calling Queen Victoria “our queer old dean,” telling those in chapel that “Our Lord is a shoving leopard,” and accusing one of his students of “hissing my mystery lecture.”
Of course, there are hundreds of others (you can see some here). We often speak in MY house of “shaking a tower.” And who hasn’t called a butterfly a flutter-by?
And so today, on the 170th birthday of Rev. Spooner, let’s celebrate – by working a Spoonerism into our conversation, creating a character that uses one, or creating one of your own. Trust me – it’s lots of fun!