Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “spoonerism”

spoonerism

noun [C] uk   /ˈspuː.nər.ɪ.zəm/ us    /-nɚ-/
a mistake made when speaking in which the first sounds of two words are exchanged with each other to produce a not intended and usually funny meaning: The Reverend William Spooner used to produce spoonerisms such as "a scoop of boy trouts" instead of what he meant to say - "a troop of boy scouts".
(Definition of spoonerism from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of spoonerism?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Translations of “spoonerism”

Word of the Day

wave

to raise your hand and move it from side to side as a way of greeting someone, telling someone to do something, or adding emphasis to an expression

Word of the Day

Come on – you can do it! Phrasal verbs with ‘come’.

by Liz Walter​,
November 19, 2014
As part of an occasional series on the tricky subject of phrasal verbs, this blog looks at ones formed with the verb ‘come’. If you are reading this blog, I’m sure you already know come from, as it is one of the first things you learn in class: I come from Scotland/Spain.

Read More 

silver splicer noun

November 17, 2014
informal a person who marries in later life Newly retired and now newlywed – rise of the ‘silver splicers’ Reaching pension age becomes a trigger to tie the knot as baby-boomers begin to redefine retirement

Read More