Spoonerism Day is a wonderful and fun holiday dedicated to funny slips of the tongue. Spoonerism is a term used to refer to slips of the tongue when they confuse the initial letters of two words during a conversation. Why was it called this? The educator and scholar W. A. Spooner often made such mistakes in conversation, but considered it eccentric. Thus, Spoonerism Day is the day when you need to stop being shy about being a little different.
Spoonerism Day is celebrated on July 22. On this day in 1844, Oxford professor and teacher William Archibald Spooner was born, who was distinguished by his ability to confuse letters. However, many scholars believe most Spoonerisms are attributed to Spooner just to create a beautiful legend. In fact, this phenomenon is quite common and was first recorded in 1844 in London.
Spooner taught philosophy, religion, and history at the University of Oxford, and also served as dean and president of this institution. In addition to his funny habit of confusing letters, the professor had an unusual appearance – short stature, albino with a pink face and poor eyesight, as well as a very large head. Despite his reputation as a jovial man, Spooner was very intelligent. His habit of confusing letters arose from his mouth struggling to keep up with his thoughts.
- In ancient Greece, there was the term metathesis, which means the transposition of letters of sounds in a word.
- Today, spoonerisms are not a sign of low intelligence, but rather humorous slips of the tongue.
- English is great for spoonerism because of its wide sound range, as well as phonetics.
- Poland has its own symbol of Spoonerism – Count Marrowsky, who stood out for his unusual speech.
- With the help of Spoonerisms, scientists have determined how the brain forms speech.
How to take part
Spend this day having fun, play any entertaining game with task cards with family and friends. Share the holiday on social media and share your own quirks using the hashtag #SpoonerismDay.
When is Spoonerism Day celebrated in 2024?
Spoonerism Day is observed on July 22 each year.