spoonerism

humorous muddled words

A spoonerism is an error in speech in which corresponding consonants, vowels, or morphemes are switched (see metathesis) between two words in a phrase. These are named after the Oxford don and ordained minister William Archibald Spooner, who reputedly did this. An example is saying "The Lord is a shoving leopard" instead of "The Lord is a loving shepherd." While spoonerisms are commonly heard as slips of the tongue, and getting one's words in a tangle, they can also be used intentionally as a play on words.
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