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Carol Bainbridge

Happy Spoonerism Day!

By July 22, 2013

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What is a spoonerism and why is July 22 Spoonerism Day?  A spoonerism is a tip of the slongue -- I mean a slip of the tongue.  It is the switching of initial sounds in two syllables or two words.  It's usually unintentional and we've all done it.

For example, you might say you need to "fight a liar" when you intended to say "light a fire."  July 22 is Spoonerism Day because it is the birthday of William Archibald Spooner, the man for whom this slip of the tongue is named.

Sometimes people create spoonerisms on purpose. Spoonerisms can be quite amusing. Everyone enjoys the word play that make up spoonerisms and will laugh at the funny changes in meaning that come with the sound switches. Some people have rewritten fairy tales using spoonerisms. Those are quite funny because the spoonerisms will change the meaning of parts of the story, which we are all so familiar with.

You and your child can have a lot of fun with spoonerisms. You can read some stories and books written with spoonerisms or you can encourage your child to write her own!

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