July 22 is Spoonerism Day. A spoonerism is a phrase in which some sounds have been mixed up, whether accidentally or intentionally. A few old examples include (click spoonerism link for lots more):
- “Is it kisstomary to cuss the bride?” (customary to kiss)
- “The Lord is a shoving leopard.” (a loving shepherd)
- “A well-boiled icicle” (well-oiled bicycle)
Both the term and the holiday are named for the famous Oxford don, William Archibald Spooner. This absent-minded professor was born on July 22, 1844 and became known for his habit of mixing up sounds. Although many spoonerisms have been attributed to him, most scholars think they are apocryphal, created by other people and attributed to Spooner in order to create a good story.
“Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent,
and discerning if he holds his tongue.” ~ Proverbs 17:28