Spoonerisms in a book of children's poems

Cohen, Gerald Leonard gcohen at MST.EDU
Tue Apr 23 19:55:52 UTC 2013

For those interested in Spoonerisms, a student in my Etymology class sent me the following message:

'...A while ago, we discussed spoonerisms in class. It just dawned on me that I have a book called, "The Runny Babbit" written by Shel Silverstein. It is made up of children's poems, and he switches the first letters of the words throughout the entire book.

For example, this poem is called "Runny's Jig Bump":

"Runny be quimble,

Runny be nick,

Runny cump over the jandlestick.

But now--what smells like furning bluff?

Guess he didn't hump jigh enough."

I was just wondering if these poems would fall under the category of spoonerisms?'

Gerald Cohen

P.S. The answer to the above question is yes (with respect to the transposed items).

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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