Daily Archives: November 11, 2011

More Words To Play With

A man, a plan, a canal – Panama!

So far this year, as far as dates go we have had 10 palindromes.  We put the day before the month in writing dates – so 11/1/11; 11/2/11 and so on for the following months.

Today is the 11th day of November 2011.  A perfect palindrome – 11/11/11 and to make things even better this post will be published at 11 am.

The word palindrome is derived from the Greek palíndromos, meaning running back again  A palindrome is a word, phrase or number which reads the same in both directions, hence

  • Madam I’m Adam
  • Do Geese See God
  • Never odd or even
  • I did did I
  • A Toyota’s a Toyota and of course probably the most famous
  • Able was I ere I saw Elba
  • And the numbers as above.
  • Some single words are also palindromes – level, radar, nun and civic.

No doubt you can come up with many more, as can I.

Thinking of palindromes I thought then of spoonerisms.  What is the connection?  I don’t know but I love spoonerisms.

Spooner caricature

Spooner as caricatured by Spy (Leslie Ward) in Vanity Fair, April 1898

Spoonerisms are named after  William Archibald Spooner who was famous for making these verbal slips.   Some of his famous slips of speech are :

  • On raising a toast to the Queen “”Three cheers for our queer old dean!”
  • We are told that he once enquired “Is the bean dizzy?” on a visit to a college
  • He apparently lionized Britain’s farmers as “ye noble tons of soil.”
  • He once referred to a well oiled bicycle as “a well-boiled icicle.”

There have also apparently been some blunders heard on radio:

  • A British radio announcer, talking about a royal visit, informed his listeners that the visitor would be greeted with a “twenty one son galoot”.
  • Another radio announcer made one that seems to have stuck: “one swell foop”.

And apart from these, some of my favourites are :

  • Fighting a liar (lighting a fire)
  • Go and shake a tower (go and take a shower)
  • Lack of pies (pack of lies)
  • Beeping sleauty (sleeping beauty) and many more.

I really do love playing with words and have written several posts on this subject in the past.

So do go and have some fun with words, palindromes and spoonerisms.  Let me know your favourites.

“By words we learn thoughts, and by thoughts we learn life.”
Jean Baptiste Girard

Note – Caricature of Spooner via Wikipedia