Definition of spoonerism
: a transposition of usually initial sounds of two or more words (as in tons of soil for sons of toil)
What I’ve got isn’t exactly a spoonerism problem although I have yet to find the correct diagnostic term for my particular verbal ailment.
Whatever it is, it’s definitely from my mother’s side of the family. My mother has trouble remembering the odd names of things and comes up with something just slightly off (and off-putting) like calling someone “Butson” instead of “Watson.”
Or you might go to “Bernie’s” for a nice handbag when really you’d probably go to “Barneys.”
These are a source of endless humor for her four children… The best such story is from when she and my dad were up in Alaska, fly fishing. They were in a little bait shop, in the middle of nowhere and my mom had heard that blood-sucking leaches were doing well as bait. So, standing in front of the old fishermen and the grizzly storeowner, my mom announced. “I think I’l try those cock-sucking roaches today.”
The storeowner, who had surely met all types, said, “I’m afraid I’m not familiar with that pattern.”
Insert hysterical gut laughter from us kids….
Until the day I was at lunch with a girlfriend and we were talking about dream vacations. I told her I’d love to go to Norway or Sweden to see the (what for it)…. areola borealis.
It took me a minute to realize my mistake.
Hiding my red face behind my glass, I corrected myself. “I mean the aurora borealis.”
They said it would happen… I’m becoming my mother!