A spoonerism occurs when you accidentally transpose words or sounds while speaking, often inadvertently for a humorous effect. I will illustrate the definition more clearly with the stories of my 2 hilarious spoonerisms.
I was driving home from work to the south end (Flint, MI) apartment I had with my husband, Hal Hilliard. I needed a few items so I pulled up next to the open sliding doors of the Mary’s Sunshine Dairy drive-up convenience store on Fenton Rd.
I told the clerk who was standing behind her cash register, “I want a gallon of whole milk, a pack of Kools, and a bottle of Coke.” She left to get the items while I rummaged in my purse, hoping to find enough money. The clerk came back to the sliding doors and told me, “I got the milk and the cigarettes but what was the other thing you wanted?”
I distractedly replied, “A bottle of Cock.” When I quickly realized what I had just said, I looked up at the patiently waiting clerk and hurriedly rephrased myself, “A bottle of Coke, Coke! Please, a bottle of Coke!”
She smirked as she left to get the pop while I sat in my car with a blazingly red face, embarrassed as hell, but also wondering, “Hmmm, was that Freudian?” My sex life with my husband at that time was a bit on the fritz. Maybe I should have asked for the 2-liter.
In 1976 I began to date Bob Jurvelin, a mechanic who worked at the gas station on the very near corner to my house.
My ’72 Chevelle’s engine had just begun to make some knocking noises, not very loud, but I still knew from past experience that these were noises I needed to have checked out.
So I stopped at the gas station, which had just closed, but I could see Bob and several of his friends inside. He pulled up the garage doors when he saw it was me, and I drove in.
I wanted to show off a little, have Bob know that he was dating a girl who actually did know a little bit about cars. What I meant to tell him was that my lifters were knocking, lifters being the arms that make the pistons go up and down. What came out of my mouth, though, was this, “My knockers are lifting.” (Knockers are an American slang for breasts.)
Bob’s friends immediately began laughing so hard, they were doubled over until they were speechless and coughing. I stood there, horrified at what I had just said, then I began stammering, “I mean, I mean, I mean, my lifters are knocking!” But then Bob leered at me and said, “Well, I would love to help you with your knockers!” I just wanted the garage floor to open up and swallow me and all of my embarrassment!
But I quickly recovered as I matched Bob’s leer with one of my own and told him, “Later, big boy, later” while Bob and his friends all laughed themselves silly again while I finally had to grin, even though my face was still red as a beet and I was still wishing the floor would open up!