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A Big Heap of Shining Wit

I love spoonerisms. What’s a spoonerism, you say? It’s a phrase in which letters or syllables are swapped to make a new, punny meaning. The best spoonerism I’ve ever heard, by a long shot, is courtesy of Anu Garg, the editor of

Rev. William Archibald Spooner, the father of spoonerism, not only gave the English language a new word, an eponym, but also an artful device for repartee. The story goes that a member of parliament cut off another calling him a shining wit, and then apologized for making a spoonerism.

In this CNBC interview with Warren Buffett, the interviewer makes a nice (if inadvertent) spoonerism, when she tries to say that “average retail investors feeling that they can’t get a fair shake” in the stock market because the game is weighted toward special interests. But instead of “fair shake,” she says “share fake.” Which pretty perfectly summarizes what those retails investors are afraid of getting.

Do you have any good spoonerisms for us?