What is a spoonerism?
No, it’s not that.
A spoonerism is a blunder in speech or an intentional play on words which words in a phrase switch consonants or vowels. One of my favorite examples of spoonerism is, “Don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things.”
In honor of International Spoonerism Day, DMG Entertainment has compiled a list of the top five spoonerisms in entertainment. So stop chipping through flannels and prepare to have your blind moan.
ROBIN HOOD: MEN IN TIGHTS (1993)
Director: Mel Brooks Starring: Cary Elwes, Richard Lewis, Roger Rees, Amy Yasbeck, Patrick Stewart
Summary: A spoof of the Robin Hood story. While King Richard (Patrick Stewart) is away on the Crusades, the evil Prince John (Richard Lewis) tyrannizes his people. However, Robin Hood (Cary Elwes) steals from the rich, gives to the poor, and fights against oppression.
Famed Spoonerism: “Struckey has loxed again!” (Meant to say that “Loxley has struck again!”)
Fun Fact: The Sheriff of Rottingham (Roger Rees) says to Robin Hood (Cary Elwes), “…. so it comes down to this, mano a mano, man to man.” However, mano a mano does not mean man to mean, it means hand-to-hand.
SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937)
Director: William Cottrell, David Hand Starring: Adriana Caselotti, Harry Stockwell, Lucille La Verne
Summary: In a Kingdom long ago, the beautiful princess Snow White waits for her true love. However, her jealous stepmother, the Queen, commands a huntsman to kill her. Instead of killing her, the huntsman sends Snow White into the woods, where they befriend seven dwarfs.
Famed Spoonerism: “Search every crook and nanny” (Meant to say that “Search every nook and cranny!”)
Fun Fact: When adjusted for inflation, 1937’s SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS is still the highest-grossing animated film of all time.
TALES FROM MUPPETLAND: THE FROG PRINCE (1971)
Director: Jim Henson Starring: Trudy Young, Gordon Thomson, Frank Oz
Summary: After an evil witch curses Princess Melora (Trudy Young) to speak in spoonerism, she discovers a small frog who can understand her nonsense phrases. To her surprise, the frog claims to have been a prince before the witch cursed him as well. Together, they look for a way to break the evil witch’s spells.
Famed Spoonerism: “Bake the hall in the candle of her brain ” (Meant to say that ” break the ball in the handle of her cane “)
Fun Fact: All of Kermit’s frog friends are named after the King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table.
BRIDGET JONES’S DIARY (2001)
Director: Sharon Maguire Starring: Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant
Summary: Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger) is a book publishing assistant struggling to fix her imperfections, such as weight, job, and relationship status. In an attempt to take control of her life, she decides to not only improve her flaws but also keep a completely honest account of her personal life.
Famed Spoonerism: “Here is the man we like to call Mr., uh [to herself] Titspervert. Titspervert. [to audience] Fitzherbert. Because… that is his name.”
Fun Fact: Renée Zellweger gained 25 pounds for her role in BRIDGET JONES’S DIARY (2001),
MONTY PYTHON’S FLYING CIRCUS (1969-1974)
Director: Ian MacNaughton, John Howard Davies Starring: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam
Summary: The Monty Python comedy group presents a series of surreal, tasteless, and bawdy comedy sketches.
Famed Spoonerism: “Ring Kichard the Thrid! A shroe! A shroe! My dingkome for a shroe!”
Fun Fact: The internet term “SPAM” was inspired by MONTY PYTHON’S FLYING CIRCUS: SPAM (1970) sketch. In the sketch, a restaurant offers a mandatory helping of Spam with each and every ordered item.
Now run along! Bombard your friends with spoonerisms until there is no soap in their holes!
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