This is a beta version of NNDB
Search: for

William Archibald Spooner

Born: 22-Jul-1844
Birthplace: London, England
Died: 29-Aug-1930
Location of death: Oxford, England
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Grasmere Town Cemetery, Grasmere, Cumbria, England

Gender: Male
Religion: Anglican/Episcopalian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Educator

Nationality: England
Executive summary: Spoonerisms

An albino with a pinkish face and an appearance described as "rabbit-like", William Archibald Spooner studied at Oxford and became an Anglican priest. For decades he was a respected member of the faculty at Oxford, lecturing on Christianity, philosophy, and ancient history, but he is mostly remembered for unintentionally transposing letters or syllables as he spoke (e.g., "It is kisstomary to cuss the bride" or "You have hissed all my mystery lectures"). The term 'spoonerism' is derived from his name, but in reality, Spooner's spoonerisms were rare. His fame for such comments was fueled mostly by students at the college, who amused each other by creating many intentional spoonerisms that were undoubtedly funnier than the Professor's occasional accidents. His exaggerated notoriety for misstatements became a source of frustration to Spooner, as can be sensed in one of his few well-verified quotes, spoken to a crowd of students gathered before one of his lectures: "You don't want to hear a speech, you just want me to say one of those ... things."

Father: William Spooner (b. 14-Jul-1811, d. 19-May-1880)
Mother: Jane Lydia Wilson Spooner (b. circa 1816, m. 6-Oct-1841, d. 17-Aug-1898)
Sister: Mary Anna Spooner (b. 30-Oct-1842)
Brother: Henry Maxwell Spooner (minister, b. 9-May-1846, d. 1-Apr-1929)
Sister: Janet Sarah Spooner Salt (b. 1849)
Sister: Catherine Barbara Spooner Inge (b. 26-Mar-1854)
Wife: Frances Wycliffe Goodwin (b. 18-Oct-1852, m. 12-Sep-1878, five daughters, two sons)
Son: William Wycliffe Spooner (engineer, b. 29-Mar-1882, d. 1956)
Daughter: Frances Catherine Spooner Dodgson (b. 15-Dec-1883, d. 30-Apr-1954)
Daughter: Rosemary Spooner (Oxford City Councillor, b. 9-Jul-1886, d. 9-Jun-1976)
Daughter: Ellen Maxwell Spooner Murray ("Nel", b. 9-Mar-1890)
Daughter: Agnes Mary Spooner (b. 25-Oct-1894)

    High School: Oswestry School, Shropshire, England (1862)
    University: BA, Oxford University (1866)
    University: PhD Divinity, Oxford University (1903)
    Administrator: Dean, New College, Oxford University (1876-89)
    Administrator: Warden, New College, Oxford University (1903-17)

    Ordained 1875
    Eponyms spoonerism
    Risk Factors: Albinism

Author of books:
Bishop Butler (1901)
Oxford in Arms, with An Account of New College (1918)

Do you know something we don't?
Submit a correction or make a comment about this profile

Copyright ©2019 Soylent Communications