Palindromes, anagrams, and spoonerisms
Definition: palindromes are words or phrases that read the same forwards as backwards. The adjustment of punctuation and spaces between words is generally permitted. Palindromes have been found throughout history, some as old as 80BCE. The word palindrome was coined from Greek roots pali, back anddromos, direction way by English writer Ben Jonson in the 1600s.
Above: a milled sculpture of Toyota, designed by Frank Nichols of New York City.
"Mom, dad, sis, I'm not like you. I'm not a palindrome."
Some classic palindrome samples
Madam, I'm Adam.
Madam, in Eden, I'm Adam.
A man, a plan, a canal: Panama.
No melons, no lemon
Step on no pets
Never odd or even
Party booby trap
A slut nixes sex in Tulsa
Stella won no wallets
No, it is open on one position
Dennis never even sinned
Rats live on no evil star
Oozy rat in a sanitary zoo
"Dammit I'm Mad" by Demetri Martin
Links to websites
Jim Kalb's palindrome list
Anagrams are rearranged letters in a word or phrase to make another word or phrase. From the Greek wordanagramma 'letters written anew'. Technically, any word or phrase which exactly reproduces the letters in another is an anagram; e.g., saltine = entails. However, the goal of serious or skilled anagrammists is to produce anagrams which reflect or comment on the subject. Such an anagram may be a synonym or antonym of its subject, a parody, a criticism, or praise.
Example: George Bush = He bugs Gore.
Some other fun ones
dormitory = dirty room
Presbyterian = best in prayer
astronomer = moon starer
the eyes = they see
slot machines = cash lost in 'em
snooze alarms = alas! no more z 's
eleven plus two = twelve plus one
election results = lies let's recount
a decimal point = I'm a dot in place
Babe Ruth = He rub bat.
William Shakespeare = I am a weak speller.
Theodore Roosevelt = svelte hero rode, too
evangelist = evil's agent
Claim, "Heck, I sent it!" = the check is in the mail
Attaineth its cause, freedom = United States of America
desperation = a rope ends it
The Morse Code = Here come dots
Mother in Law = Woman Hitler
circumstantial evidence = can ruin a selected victim
a stitch in time saves nine = this is meant as incentive
intoxicate = excitation
A reversal of sounds in two words. "May I show you to your seat" becomes "May I sew you to your sheet?"
Named for William Spooner, an English clergyman and scholar, around 1900. American English has over 600,000words (and growing), more words than any other language. Therefore, there's a greater chance that any accidental transposition of letters or syllables will produce rhyming substitutes that make some sense.
Some of William Spooner's goofs
"Three cheers for our queer old dean!" = dear old queen, referring to Queen Victoria
"Is it kisstomary to cuss the bride?" = customary to kiss
"You were fighting a liar in the quadrangle." = lighting a fire
"Is the bean dizzy?" = dean busy
"Someone is occupewing my pie. Please sew me to another sheet." = occupying my pew...show me to another seat
"You have hissed all my mystery lectures. You have tasted a whole worm." = missed...history, wasted...term
"A lack of pies" = A pack of lies
"A blushing crow." = crushing blow
"A well boiled icicle" = well oiled bicycle
"It's roaring with pain" = It's pouring with rain
"Wave the sails" = Save the whales
"cattle ships and bruisers" = battle ships and cruisers
"nosey little cook" = cosy little nook
"a blushing crow" = a crushing blow
"we'll have the hags flung out" = we'll have the flags hung out
"know your blows" = blow your nose
"go and shake a tower" = go and take a shower
"nicking your pose" = picking your nose
"you have very mad banners" = you have very bad manners
"sealing the hick" = healing the sick
"go help me sod" = so help me God
"bowel feast" = foul beast
"I'm a damp stealer" = I'm a stamp dealer
"chipping the flannel" = flipping the channel on TV
"mad bunny" = bad money
"lead of spite" = speed of light
"this is the pun fart" = this is the fun part
"I hit my bunny phone" = I hit my funny bone
"cop porn" = popcorn
"it crawls through the fax" = it falls through the cracks
"would you like a nasal hut?" = would you like a hazelnut?
"belly jeans" = jelly beans
"fight in your race" = right in your face