Daily TWiP Archives

Something interesting has happened on (just about) every day of the year, and Daily TWiP provides the proof. An offshoot of my local events column The Week in Preview (affectionately known as TWiP), Daily TWiP was published April 2008-Aug. 2011 and is still giving readers reasons to celebrate.

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Daily TWiP – July 22: Spoonerism Day

Some academics are remembered for making great contributions to their fields of study or for their impressive oratorical style. The Rev. William Archibald Spooner, on the other hand, is remembered for wuddling his mords.

Born today (July 22) in 1844, Spooner was an ordained priest and a don at Oxford University whose brilliant mind regularly outpaced his tongue. He mixed up bits and pieces of his words so regularly that these little misspeaks were dubbed “spoonerisms” in his honor.

Students would attend his lectures and churchgoers his sermons hoping to hear one of his famous slip-ups. They were not disappointed. Spooner once berated a student who “hissed my mystery lecture,” adding that the lazy student had “tasted two worms,” and politely reseated a non-regular churchgoer before the sermon, telling him, “I believe you’re occupewing my pie. May I sew you to another sheet?”

Spooner was overall a good-humored man, but it was said that he didn’t appreciate being defined by his verbal eccentricities. “You haven’t come for my lecture,” he said to one group of eager attendees, “you just want to hear one of those … things.”

If you’d like to hear more spoonerisms, check out a few spoonerism fairy tales by Colonel Stoopnagle (the plom de nume of F. Chase Taylor), courtesy of  FunWithWords.com. “Beeping Sleuty” and “Prinderella and the Cince” will gave you higgling in no time.

– Teresa Santoski


Originally published July 22, 2009.

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