William Archibald Spooner

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Rev. William Archibald Spooner was a British Anglican priest and scholar, and had quite a reputation for muddling up his words. Mistakes of this sort came to be known as Spoonerisms. He lectured history, philosophy and divinity at Oxford University from 1876 - 1889.

Some notable slip-ups by the reverend were:

  • "Work is the curse of the drinking classes" (intended to be "Drink is the curse of the working classes,")
  • "You have hissed my mystery lectures"
  • "You have tasted the whole worm"
  • "Queer old dean" (in reference to Queen Victoria)
  • "It is kistomary to cuss the bride."
  • At a man's funeral: "shoving leopard to his flock." (loving shepherd to his flock)
  • "There is no peace in a home where a dinner swells," ("...where a sinner dwells.")