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Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best.
Theodore I. Rubin
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A spoonerism is a play on words in which corresponding consonants, vowels, or morphemes are switched, named after the Reverend William Archibald Spooner, Warden of New College, Oxford, who was notoriously prone to this tendency. Many "spoonerisms" attributed to Spooner are believed to have actually been made up by Oxford students.


  • Ring Kitchard. But surely that's a Spoonerism, not an anagram.
  • Madam, you are occupewing the wrong pie!
    • Allegedly Spooner, to a woman in the wrong seat in church
  • Sir, you have tasted two whole worms; you have hissed all my mystery lectures and been caught fighting a liar in the quad; you will leave Oxford by the next town drain. (Wasted two whole terms, Missed all my History lectures, caught Lighting a fire, and by the next down train...respectively)
    • Attributed to Spooner (Cohen & Cohen, [1960] 1979)
  • Let us drink to the Queer old dean.
    • Attributed to Spooner (Cohen & Cohen, [1960] 1979)
  • The Lord is a shoving leopard.
    • Allegedly Spooner
  • There's nothing so fine as a well-boiled icicle.
    • Allegedly Spooner
  • You tons of soil.
    • Opening words of a speech at a Labour meeting.


Cohen, J.M.; Cohen, M.J. [1960] (1979). The Penguin Dictionary of Quotations, Penguin. ISBN 0-1405-1016-8.

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