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

33 responses to “More Words To Play With

  1. Great stuff! My addition to the palindrome list: racecar


  2. I learned something new and fresh today. Thank you. Beautiful thoughts that made me smile. Stay blessed my friend…


  3. Dammit I’m Mad….


  4. Although 11/11/11 hasn’t arrived yet on our shore
    I enjoyed this post immensely . . . please, ma’am, share more!


    • Hi Nancy – I have this real thing with and about words. My kids will tell you I don’t need any encouragement – thanks for the encouragement and watch this space. 🙂


  5. I love the spoonerisms. Maybe because I speak in spoonerisms all the time. My brain works faster than my mouth…


  6. This is such a fun and clever post! Thank you for the smile you put across my face! I had never heard the term “spoonerism” but I sure have said them over the years!


    • Thanks Suzicate. I am glad I put a smile on your face. Words are my thing. Now if only I could get that danged novel out of my head and onto the page. 🙂


  7. I love spoonerisms. If you would like to hear an American classic, google Rindercell by Archie Campbell. It’s hilarious. Hope you can understand his southern accent. 🙂


  8. I meant to say Rindercella (Cinderella).


  9. I love your word posts, Judith. A customer of ours often used the spoonerism “drain bamaged.”


  10. words are so much fun! This post made me smile and remember the silly things when my children were growing up.


  11. Long live word play! These are great, Judith.


  12. Pingback: 11/11/11 ~ A Dated Palindrome « Spirit Lights The Way

  13. Oh, those palindromes are wonderful! (and so are the others!) I just sent them along to 2 other family members who also love to play with words….thanks! : )


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  15. Spoonerisms …
    My mum used to complain at my dad for being a “bunny” when we were kids, it wasn’t until years later we realised it was a shortened version of “bunny fastard” 😀


  16. My kids used to listen to a storytelling team called The Storycrafters on CD. One of their stories was called “Beeping Sleauty.” The entire Sleeping Beauty tale retold entirely in spoonerisms! It was brilliant. “She fricked her pinger on a whinning speel.” Fun!


  17. I love “She fricked her pinger on a whinning speel”. I hadn’t heard that one before. Thanks for sharing too.


  18. I had never heard the term “spoonerisms” but I have definitely been guilty of accidentally saying some, although I don’t remember any particular incidents cause I didn’t write them down.
    One of my niece’s names is a Palindrome and I’ve always thought it was cool…Hannah…same backwards and forwards! 🙂


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