Spoonerism by K J Rollinson

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William Archibald Spooner has become famous for his real, or alleged, ‘spoonerisms’ – play on words, in which consonants, vowels are switched. Few of his spoonerisms were deliberate. Spooner admitted to uttering ‘Kinkering congs their titles take’. He bumbled his way through life, tripping over his words and giving his name to the word ‘spoonerism’ which was included in the dictionary in his own lifetime. But while Dr Spooner did have a tendency to misplace some of his words, he was certainly no bumbling idiot. He was a classical scholar, a Doctor of Divinity and the Warden of New College, Oxford.

As a tutor and a priest, he was greatly admired by his students. He was eloquent and his speeches and sermons were invariably interesting and amusing. Some of his speech lapses probably resulted from the difficulty he sometimes had in reading since, being an albino, he suffered from defective…

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