You probably expect that we can discover meaning in anything, since all we do is sit around and read the dictionary. Well, here’s a test: can we uncover something meaningful even in the goofiest situation? You be the judge.
Justin Bieber, the 16-year-old pop singer whose charisma results in the pandemonium of screaming teenagers at shopping malls, is a bit of an obsession on Twitter. People who love him, as well as people who love to hate him, post so many messages featuring the heartthrob that he consistently appears on Twitter’s list of the most popular (trending) topics.
One of Twitter’s peculiar customs involves switching the first letters of a person’s first and last names and tweeting the results. For example, the erstwhile singer Nick Jonas becomes “Jick Nonas.” And at this moment “Bustin Drew Jieber” is the No.1 topic on Twitter.
There’s a technical term for this phenomenon. Spoonerism is “the transposition of the initial consonants or consonant clusters of a pair of words.” A silly name for a silly practice, but it honors Reverend William Archibald Spooner, an official at Oxford University who was infamous for these slips of the tongue. While a spoonerism can be an accident, a relative of the Freudian slip (or parapraxis), it’s often used for humor. Too many spoonerisms verge on becoming malapropisms, “an act or habit of misusing words ridiculously, esp. by the confusion of words that are similar in sound.”
One of the more infamous moments in the history of malapropism occured recently when political celebrity Sarah Palin tweeted the non-word “refudiate.” See what we, and 100s of others, had to say about refudiate here.
What’s your favorite spoonerism? Share it below, and yank thou mery vuch.
actually, it’s because Nick Jonas said that him and his brothers call Justin “Bustin Jieber”. And it became a joke between them. And then Justin said “I now call Nick “Jick Nonas” as a joke between us”.
That’s nucking futs.
Years ago, I attempted to define ’spoonerism’ for someone and, oddly, the first phrase that came to mind as an example was, “fuzzy duck.” lol
Look at how “pigh the how is sniled”
translates to look at how “high the snow is piled”. My best friend just came out with saying this many, many years ago when we were kids back in Michigan after we had gotten a lot of snow.
I’ve always called that “getting my mords wixed.” I’m notorious for it, unfortunately! Classic example: I was frustrated waiting to pull out onto a busy road and said, “Wow, there’s such a steady trow of flaffic!” I never knew there was a real term for it!
the capitol steps do a whole routine based on spoonerism. it’s called “Lirty Dies”
My friends and I often refer to our spoonerisms as “verbal dyslexia” and have poked fun at eachother for the accidental use of them. My favorite one would have to be “bass ackwards” which transaltes to “a** backwards” and is hilarious because it is indeed backwards!
My (favorite) son popped out with: Does Sarah Palin like para-sailin’?
(Parah Salin, get it?)
wot about this one – stop ‘wangling your turds’
Ok, Let me sew you to your sheet, I mean show you to your seat.
Oh and one that I’ve actually blurted out myself was when I was on a long distance trip with my mother. She was driving and weaving through traffic and I proceeded to call her a “chane langer” instead of “lane changer”.
This is such a waste of time and why in the world would anyone want to take my name and make it into something else??!! Just stop ok? Don’t make me sue you people!! and yes this is the real Justin Bieber
[...] fear we’re stumped with “SPOONERISM” — It Misses Malaprop’s revision of the Supreme Court’s circumcision to cut off [...]
A friend of mine is prone to spoonerisms all the time. I usually blame it on the lexdysia.
Hello Justin Bieber. How are you supposed to sue us when you don’t know our secret identities?
My dad had a barbecue apron that proclaimed him:
“Waf chott and cieshle booker”
…. which masterfully rearranged the letters in “Chief cook and bottle washer.”
But, of course, “Two pickets to Titsburgh” is the classic tongue-tangle, uttered by a shy gentleman handing fare money to a rather well-endowed woman at a train station.
I LOVE JUSTIN DREW BIEBER <3
(Sorry if this comes across more than once. I am having technical trouble.)
Do you remember the side-splitting use of spoonerisms in the story of Rindercella, who slopped her dripper, etc? It’s a classic sketch from the TV show Hee Haw.
ha ha – Love It Mr Justin Beiber! “this is real Justin Beiber” if i were you, i wouldnt even own myself!
you guys heard Bustin Jieber say it already, hon’t dake mim yue sou!
sounds like am speaking chinese hehehe
Or keeping fit riding a well boiled icicle?
How about acon & beggs for breakfast? Is that a true spoonerism? That came out of my mouth when I was 7 years old, and has never left me over the ensuing 60 years!
I love it when the commentators spoonerise superstar Karmichael Hunt’s name :p
What does DNA stand for?
National Dyslexic Association
Wow, whoever pretended to be Justin Beiber, really?
Bustin Jeiber, don’t be such a quama dreen
i dont know about bustin jieber …but i do know..JUSTIN BIEBER SUCKSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
As we like to say at my University, “Ruck Fice.” You may have to be a Texas native to get it.
The other day my mum was talking about getting some KFC – Kentucky Fried Chicken. Unfortunately for her she called it Ken F*ckey. Nearly peed myself laughing.
You and all who partake in this butchery are ruining the English language!
Bunch a fother muckers!
So what about when entire words are switched in the sentence? A recent slip-up of mine with both spoonerism and word mix up was: “This tamburger is herrible! It just wants to make me cry!”
I once tried to imagine what Spoonerisms the Rev. Spooner himself might come-up-with…and got “Pieman Seeder” for Simon Peter … and more….
After a few, I wearied of the trite and came-up with the anti-Spoonerism that can’t, be, Spooner’ized, except you get the lines out of order… I started with the obvious “Flutter by, Butterfly…” and completed it–
“FLUTTER BY, BUTTERFLY …
“THINSOME WING, WINSOME THING,
“SLIGHTLY FITS, ALIGHT MY HAND.” (*)
- RKP (with poetic license for getting the butterfly into my hand)
I published this (SEE website) and also submitted to poetry.com –but– they didn’t like my exactingly-and-more-correct-english: they changed a word–!! Suffice it to be brief, ‘Alight’, is true-english-preposition!
* And I lastly note that a line more, of, “fightly slits,” would indeed refer to a butterfly extracting itself from its cocoon—hors de poesy.
I like how people pay attention to these dumb kids with absolutely NO talent…
I’ve heard another one. It goes like this.
Good Afterable Constanoon, I’m not as think as you drunk I am. In fact, I’m sotally tober.
Now I always thought that this sort of think was related heavily to too much drink, but this article has enlightened me. It is a ‘SPOONERISM’.
By the way Joanne, does Septic (Cedric) ring any bells.
I was grocery shopping with a friend and she asked me what cereal I was getting. I said Porn Cops instead of Corn Pops. We still joke about it to this day. I use to use spoonerisms after watching a Jim Henson movie when I was younger. The princess in his version of The Frog Prince was under a spell that made her talk backwards. “Bake the hall in the candle of her brain!”= “Brake the ball in the handle of her cane!”
If merely “100s” of people are doing this, why is this entry the first thing I see when I came to this site? Doesn’t that fall under, “who the hell cares” and “complete waste of time” categories?
One of our best friends is a brilliant architect, and yet he seems to get his tongue tangled up so often…..our favorite Spoonerism of his is “pickled tink.” I’ll never forget it!!
My friend has two sons named Dusty and Buddy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve called them Busty and Duddy!!
I have been doing this for years and it always makes people laugh…lately people around me are doing it too and blame me spreading the disease……mmm now i feel like a memsi pax
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hey juiceboxjackson – lighten up dude! (or dud)
and tictactoe – yeah – thats a funny one aye!
hey – who is on this site from NZ? jus wondering.
hey juiceboxjackson – ightnen lup! let a gife! nits ot bat thad! fav hum sun! sy do wown?
One of my faves for really bad fashion: a stashion fatement.
complaining about our bought-used, brown trailer camper during a family trip I disdainfully remarked, “this crapper is so campy”
A friend went to a shop and asked for Fitted Sheets! (but spooned)
Also, another friend was telling me of a storm they had, and claimed that ’shins of teet’ wer flying accross the road!
I wont tell you my own stuff-ups…
I thought this was called dyslexia?
haha… rofl.. who would seriously call me bustin jieber?
omg, ive been calling him that without knowing other people were just because i thought his new initials were funny!!!! BJ!!!
i doubt that was the real bustin jeiber. or he would drive his new 200,000 lamberguini and kick you guys in the a**
I often eat ledicious canpakes for breakfast.
My favorite was said by one of my five children many years ago. As he looked up into the sky, he said, “Look, mommy, it’s a motor propowered pellar!!!” (motor-powered propellar). We all laugh about it to this day!!!
my 2yo used to say “Guggle bum!” when she really meant Bubble Gum!
Who really cares if you call him ”brat..” ”crazy” ”hot”.. Only pathetic people will react.
My friend has two sons named ahsan and yasir. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve called them Busty and biz!!
You realise you don’t really need to click links related to things you don’t care at all, right?
You have total control of your mouse pointer.
Samuel Goldwyn was famous for malapropism, actually his creatures were called goldwynism; examples include:
‘A bachelor’s life is no life for a single man.’
‘If I look confused it’s because I’m thinking.’
‘The next time I send a damn fool for something, I go myself.’
‘Tell them to stand closer apart.’
And yet, he was a great man…
Sadie O’rafferty went to the doctor. “Doctor, doctor” she says “I’ve forgotten to take my contradiction pills” The doctor says “Madam, you are ignorant.” “Yes” she says “Three months”
He’s quite the farming chello.
I’m not a pheasant plucker nor a pheasant plucker’s son, but I’ll pluck pheasants ’til the pheasant plucker comes.
Muck Fichigan (U. of)
someone said cill blinton..
One of the funniest I spooner’s I remember was an incident that happened to a pastor friend of mine. Back in High School he was to give an oral report on Huckleberry Finn. Not going to transpose this one, you do the math!
and also ‘#justinbieber’ had been banned by twitter from appearing in top trends cause it was there everyday, so bieber fans came up with this TT to let beieber still be a trending topic.
I love Spoonerisms. In the morning I declare my intention shake a tower. Much to the consternation of my long-suffering Dum and Mad.
Did you know that William Archibald Spooner (22 July 1844 – 29 August 1930) was a famous Oxford don after whom the linguistic phenomenon, spoonerism is named. He attended Oswestry School in Shropshire. The school has been going 603 years since 1407! Few, if any, of his own spoonerisms were deliberate, my favourites are: “It is kisstomary to cuss the bride” (…customary to kiss the bride) and You have hissed all my mystery lectures, and were caught fighting a liar in the quad. Having tasted two worms, you will leave by the next town drain” (You have missed all my history lectures, and were caught lighting a fire in the quad. Having wasted two terms, you will leave by the next down train)!
Hi – it really is true – one of my sister’s and I are always mixing words…..we both have pernicious anemia and when the injection is due (or ovedue – due to forgetting)the ‘problem’ is even worse. It makes me wonder if the long-distance relative was afflicted with this – also, many others may also have the condition…..Medical discovery, eh !!
Nhat wext !
I loved it when Brad Pitt named his daughter Shiloh. Spoonerize Shilo Pitt.
“No, ossifer, I have only had tee martoonis tonight and am sotally tober.”
I had a friend who used to “Spoonerise” everybody’s name — we were hippies, so it was funny when Tommy Stokes became Stommy Tokes, because he would always answer “fatties” (sorry, drug reference if you’re confused)
Also, my husband always tells our guests to “shake a teat” when they come in. Most of them just laugh and then sit down.
Jude Law – Lude Jaw.
It’s funny because it’s true.
It is indeed a “cunning stunt” to “wix murds” as many of you have. I hope I do not get hit by a “light of boltning” for these.
But Ossifer – I only had tee martoonies.
It is not quite a spoonerism, but it’s been a long time favorite of mine.
You people have drain bamage.
And to gut who thinks he thought up flutterby, I would suggest you read some Shakespeare; that was indeed the name of the animal in Elizabethan England, however the spoonerism became the accepted term. If memory serves, Ophelia uses the term in Hamlet.
“What are we having for dinner, mum? Are we having keys and parrots?”
Obviously that’s meant to be peas and carrots, even though one of the letters is different.
Or, from my sister:
“That’s the way the crookie cumbles.”
Lot on your knife!
Would the old joke “Honest Occifer, I haven’t been drinking.” also be considered a spoonerism?
I like to order a cup of chock hotlit (hot chocolate) when I am with the grandkids. I also remember reciting nursery rhymes such as The Pee Little Thrigs” (The Three Little Pigs).
Our 10th grade English teacher actually sent home permission slips for our parents to sign, warning that she would be likely to “spooner-ize” Huck Finn while we were reading the book. I guess it was an attempt to stave off parental complaints!
The band Buckcherry is a sponnerism for Chuck Berry.
If you mix up within words like “bakset” for “basket” its a phonological process called metathesis. However, if you mix up the sounds in sentences like ” you hissed my mystery class” instead of ” you missed my history class” it can be called spoonerisms. Sometimes spoonerisms can be seen in people with language disorders. So watch out!
Bustin, Bustin, Bustin. Give yourself a break. I know if I were a sickeningly famous teen pop star I would spend all my time on thesaurus.com too.
My mom has friends named Larry and Gayla and I always accidently call them Gary and Layla
has anyone read the book Runny Babbit, the whole point is spoonerisms,(its about a bunny rabbit) when I was like seven we readit at a library group and then went around saying our names according to that book for example my one friend Jamie Nickodeme became Namie Jickodeme but another girl Molly Mittens just stayed the same. up until now I did n’t know that was called a spoonerism I called it Runny Babbit language
Accidental spoonerism heard on the radio, a guy quoting Ephesians 6:16 (NKJV) “above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the diery farts of the wicked one.” He meant to say fiery darts.
Spoonerisms are not a joke, people. My pet turtle was killed by a spoonerism when I was six.
No, THIS is the real Justin Beiber…and you can say anything you want about me. Just dont STOP talking about me! Have a wait greek end!
Nobody cares about your stupid stories, you idiots.
How ’bout the preacher Fairy Jaw well
– sod gave us –
Does anyone remember a cartoon called “Trollikins”? The mayor of Trollville was famous for spoonerisms
My favorite is one my mom made. We were talking about sewing and she mentioned that she needed to add “dust barts” the blouse she was working on (she meant “bust darts”. We both lost it and we still lose it to this day
lol. when i first heard his name i thought it was justin beaver.
Here’s my favorite!
Starkle, starkle little Twink,
Who the hell you are I think.
I’m not under what you call
The alcofluence of incahol.
I’m just a little slort of sheep
I’m not drunk like thinkle peep.
I don’t know who is me yet,
But the drunker I sit here the longer I get.
So a scottle of botch to kill my fup,
I’ve all day sober to Sunday up.
Mr. Mojo Risin’ – Jim Morrison
The wit of spoonerisms shines brightest when they mean something. Bustin Jieber means nothing and is only humorous as an absurdity. On the other hand, the spoonerist transformation of, for example, “shining wit”, in context, reduces one to guffaws.
ugh WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE JUSTIN BEAVER!!?!??!!???!?!!? GWD i don’t really like him but i luv his songs!?!!?!!? ok wtv
jit i shust roonerspismed
Archie Bunker, the lead character on “All In The Family”, had some classic malapropisms and spoonerisms.
One example, “Hey, that happened years ago, when I was a kid. Isn’t there a statue of liberations on this?”
Another, “Edith, if you got woman problems there, you better go back to see that groinocologist.”
And another, “Hey, don’t listen to my dopey son-in-law there, because A, he’s unemployed and 2, he don’t work!”
THIESE COMMETS HAD ME ROARING I LAUGHED TROUGH EVERY WORD. ANNE
LOVE YOU JUSTIN BIEBER HAVE FUN LOOKING FOR GIRLS.LOVE YOU
[...] **ATTENTION ALL JUSTIN BIEBER FANS, THIS LINK INCLUDES SOMETHING ABOUT JUSTIN BIEBER** [...]
Is this a spoonerism? “Cinderfella Slopped her dripper” Or am I cust jrazy!
If that is the real Justin Bieber, why is he misspelling his last name? It’s “BIEBER” not “BEIBER”
How about fip phlone for flip phone. Earlier I told my bro to que biet!:)
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I seriously doubt any of you are Justin Beiber. He’s on tour I am very sceptical that he has time to argure with petty people about whether or not to switch around the first letters of his name. I swear people get so obsessive.
And whats with the picture that goes with this article?
im not as thunk as some drinkle peep i am
We visited Blue Gum farm when my daughter was five and due to her spoonerism we’ve called it Glue Bum Farm ever since. To my disappointment it closed down a little while ago.
sometimes for a username on a website I’ll use Spolly Joonerist. . . (spoonerism for Jolly Spoonerist)
I will never forget the time I politely inquired of a co-worker, Dick, on Monday following a weekend project to prepare his pier for the upcoming lake season by asking, “So, how’s your dick, Doc?” [I originally shared this under "Freudian Slips," but Spoonerism is more appropriate!]
I can’t believe no one has mentioned Spooner-extraordinaire, Zilch the Torysteller! He does a great story called “Jomeo and Ruliet”. . .http://www.torysteller.com/
MY cousin said to me at the movies to, “go get some Cop Porn”
I like spoonerisms that make real words both ways:
If I have a tummy ache, I might have to shake a tit.
If I’m sweaty, I should shake a tower.
My fave roonsperism is when I was talking to my friend about the new X-Men movie and by accident I called the actor who played Wolverine Jack Hughman. Lol, my friend cracked up and ever since then we’ve been flipping letters to each others name.
My children once asked me about the Northern Lights as we were driving on family vacation. I proceeded to give this long, lecture style speech all about the “Boris Aurealis” during which time nobody corrected me. Moments after I finished, my husband and I both looked at each other and went, “Wait, that’s not right…”
I often tell people I’m getting my wegs laxed…
I was recounting a night with my wife and explained that the clothes were all over the floor because of a “pit of fashion.”
My friend also used Jack Hughman, and didn’t realize ’til hours later! My favorite is “crooks and nannies.”
As a child I used to always talk about my dad using the “Mow Lawner” to cut the grass on weekends. Took me years to grow out of it!
recently i was talking to a friend that i need a pair of contact lenses for myself and then bingo i said i will take it from “lausch and bombs” ….!!
The Rev Spooner had a daughter who became a nurse. She inherited her dad’s tendency. One day from behind a screen in the hospital came clouds of steam and the voice of a man screaming. The ward sister rushed up and berated: “Nurse Spooner, I told you to prick his boil”.
I can’t find it. I’ve searched every crook and nanny.
Years ago I heard a weather forecaster predicting ‘flow snurries’. He attempted to correct himself, but it kept coming out ‘flow snurries’. He finally gave up, and said “Oh, you know what I mean!” I used to tell people how my grandmother would ‘mitt me knittens’ every winter, and it still tends to come out that way, 60 years later!
I still fondly refer to the X-Files protagonists as Mully and Sculder sometimes. Just rolls off the tongue!
I’m not going to do these for you…do them yourself, and laugh appropriately…
I have MANY more, but those are two of my favorites :p
Huggy Bear once called Starsky and Hutch “Husky and Starch”
We want much more bloggers might generate posts like this which can be entertaining to read. With all the current fluff flying around on the web, it truly is unusual to see a site like this instead
huck fim, Jupid Bustin Seiber.
It’s not really a spoonerism, but it’s along those lines. I was talking to my cousin in a mall about the bathroom, and I said uniral. I tried to correct myself a few times, but I couldn’t say it correctly. Finally, I shouted, “I mean URINAL!” Now it’s a joke, and I’ll say “I have to go unirate.”
justin bieber i would like u to talk to me on myspace because i love you and the way u sing also i want to call u and talk on the phone i love you so much i have alot of pic of u in my room if u see this writ me on myspace please i just want u to sing to me on my next brithday and also can u get me free pass to ur consert that is coming up in st.louis please i love you alot
thanks baby boy i love you p,s my name is katrena by
Aww my name would be really cool spoonerized! (I hope i spelled that right…) Btw, why would the most famous guy under the age of 18 (this Justin kid) spend an odd amount of time on dictionary.com?? I doubt that’s really him.
but a wunch of fazy crolks!
the fit hits the shan
hi justin i want to impess this girl and she is a big fan if you get a change e-mail
…. *thinks he’s boring*…
probably the best option for boys…
All I can say is that this blog is gro seat!
Hey Justin bieber, could I have your phone number.