Oh, sure! We’ve all had great laughs about Chinglish, those unintentional but sometimes hilarious translations of Chinese into English. Might there be an opportunity to laugh at English, as well? I think so.
Spoonerisms, sometimes called ‘silly spoonerisms’, are named after the Reverend Archibald Spooner (1834-1930), who had the unusual affliction of transposing letters or first syllables between words in a phrase. Thus, a simple phrase such as: “You were lighting a fire” becomes “you were fighting a liar”. Other classic examples include:
The Lord is a shoving leopard. (The Lord is a loving shepherd)
A well-boiled icicle. (A well-oiled bicycle)
Is the bean dizzy? (Is the dean busy)
When writing a spoonerism it is acceptable to change the original words’ spelling in order to maintain the phonetic quality of the phrase. Spoonerisms are, after all, an auditory joke. Phonetics are more important than proper spelling in this case.
I challenge you do decipher my favorite spoonerisms.
1. Please come for dinner: I’m cooking a knot of poodles.
2. Be sure to use that clable toth.
3. Spring’s arrival is heralded by a lean grief.
4. Never go anywhere without a hack of pankies.
5. Children all over America love eating dot hogs.
6. Chinese people usually eat with stop chicks.
7. Just before bed I always have a mass of glilk.
8. Roaches! Quick: get the spug bray!
9. There’s nothing like shaking a tower after a long rike bide.
10. Thanks to wireless communication, we no longer need wellaphone tires.
11. Essential to Asian cuisine is a kice rooker.
12. A strong wind extinguished the curning bandle.
13. Time for new clothes! I’m off to the mess draker.
14. A winter’s eve is the perfect time for a tug of me.
15. Hikers should carry a wattle of bot’r.
16. Please don’t buy another sack of pigarettes!
17. I’m ready: I just need to shut on poos.
18. Amy startled a shock of fleep.
19. I can’t believe you ate a whole cox of bandy!
My Brit and Aussie friends are going to love this one...
20. My tharm wanks for your participation!
Can you figure these spoonerisms out? Would you add some of your own?
NOTE: answers in the next post. Have fun!