10 Spoonerisms, Oxymorons, & Palindromes

Here are three lists of special kinds of words…. a diversion for our wordsmith followers.

Spoonerisms are slips of the tongue by transposing the sounds of words, usually by accident. (The term “spoonerism” is derived from W.A. Spooner (1844 – 1930), an English clergyman noted for such slips.)

  • a lack of pieces – a pack of lies
  • tips of the slung – slips of the tongue
  • pleating and humming – heating and plumbing
  • chilled grease – grilled cheese
  • sparking pace – parking space
  • chewing the doors – doing the chores
  • clappy as a ham – happy as a clam
  • wave the sails – save the whales
  • tease my ears – ease my tears
  • our queer old dean – our dear old Queen


Oxymorons are adjectives describing nouns of opposite meaning (such as a jumbo shrimp)

  • virtual reality
  • original copy
  • old news
  • act naturally
  • pretty ugly
  • constant variable
  • exact estimate
  • paid volunteers
  • sound of silence
  • only choice


Palindromes are words or sentences that read the same backward or forward.

  • A nut for a jar of tuna.
  • Borrow or rob?
  • Do geese see God?
  • Go hang a salami. I’m a lasagna hog.
  • A man, a plan, a canal: Panama!
  • We panic in a pew.
  • Never odd or even.
  • Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?
  • Madam in Eden, I’m Adam.
  • Murder for a jar of red rum.


Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

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