🤭😜 Speech Error: Anti-Proverb, Perverb, Malapropism, Eggcorn, Yogi-isms, Spoonerism, Sreudian Flip 🤪😂

Click here to contact SoundEagle SoundEagle says: This whimsical post shows that whilst some notable forms of allusion, imitation, appropriation, resignification, reinterpretation or recontextualization are based on the clever use of literary devices and the intentional modifications of existing quotations or statements, others are due to the situational outcomes of misapplication, contradiction, extemporization, idiosyncratic substitution, unanticipated contextualization, unintentional speech error, creative mishearing or inadvertent witticism. Akin to works of art with respect to flexibility and diversity, such seeming and amusing “blunders” or “bloopers” can be constituted wholly, in part, or in combination from the products of conscious manipulations, accidental creations or improvisatory utterances, some of which are catchily categorized as anti-proverb (also called perverb), malapropism, eggcorn, Yogi-isms, and spoonerism or Sreudian flip, as the following five tables demonstrate.

SoundEagle with Anti-Proverb or Perverb

Anti-Proverb / Perverb

The transformation of a standard proverb for humorous effect.

On page 28 of Proverbs: A Handbook (Greenwood Folklore Handbooks: Greenwood Press, 2004), Paremiologist Wolfgang Mieder defines anti-proverbs or perverbs as “parodied, twisted, or fractured proverbs that reveal humorous or satirical speech play with traditional proverbial wisdom”. They have also been defined by Wolfgang Mieder, Fred R Shapiro and Charles Clay Doyle as “an allusive distortion, parody, misapplication, or unexpected contextualization of a recognized proverb, usually for comic or satiric effect” on page xi of The Dictionary of Modern Proverbs (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012).

Some authors have bent and twisted proverbs to create anti-proverbs for a variety of literary effects. In the Journal of American Folklore, Heather A Haas explains on page 38 of her paper entitled “The Wisdom of Wizards—and Muggles and Squibs: Proverb Use in the World of Harry Potter” that J K Rowling reshapes a standard English proverb into “It’s no good crying over spilt potion”, and another into Dumbledore’s cautioning Harry Potter not to “count [his] owls before they are delivered”.

Anti-proverbs are called “postproverbials” by some African proverb scholars, as seen in a large collection of articles about anti-proverbs or postproverbials in the journal Matatu Volume 51 (2019): Issue 2 (Sep 2020): Special Issue: The Postproverbial Agency: Texts, Media and Mediation in African Cultures, edited by Aderemi Raji-Oyelade and Olayinka Oyeleye. In his paper entitled “Proverbs and Anti-proverbs in Ọladẹjọ Okediji’s Rérẹ́ Rún: A Marxist Perspective”, Lere Adeyemi from the Department of Linguistics and Nigerian Languages, University of Ilorin in Nigeria purports that they add humour, colour and beauty to his writing. On a political plane, he believes that they can “stimulate critical consciousness in the readers to fight for their rights but with wisdom.… the conscious manipulation of the so-called fixed proverbs could generate new proverbs, encourage creativity in the writers and expose hidden meanings of proverbs.”

To have full effect, an anti-proverb must be based on a known proverb. For example, “If at first you don’t succeed, quit” is only funny if the hearer knows the standard proverb “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”. Anti-proverbs are used commonly in advertising, such as “Put your burger where your mouth is” from Red Robin. Anti-proverbs are also common on T-shirts, such as “Taste makes waist” and “If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you”.

Standard proverbs are essentially defined phrases well known to many people, such as Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. When this sequence is deliberately slightly changed to “Don’t bite the hand that looks dirty”, it becomes an anti-proverb. The relationship between anti-proverbs and proverbs, and how much a proverb can be changed before the resulting anti-proverb is no longer seen as proverbial, are still open topics for research.


  • A bird in the hand is a dangerous thing.
  • A fool and his money is a friend indeed.
  • A man’s home is his castle – let him clean it.
  • A miss is as good as a molehill.
  • A penny saved is a penny indeed.
  • A penny saved is a penny taxed.
  • A rolling stone gathers momentum.
  • A rolling stone gathers no moths.
  • A rolling stone gets the worm.
  • All that glitters is not dull.
  • An apple a day is worth two in the bush.
  • An onion a day keeps everybody away.
  • Absence makes the heart go wander.
  • Absence speaks louder than words.
  • Beauty is the best policy.
  • Don’t bite the hand that looks dirty.
  • Don’t count your chickens in midstream.
  • Every dog has a silver lining.
  • Everything has an end, but a sausage has two.
  • I only want your best – your money.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, quit.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.
  • It’s the early bird that makes the most noise.
  • No news is the mother of invention.
  • Nothing succeeds like excess.
  • Once bitten, three’s a crowd.
  • One good turn is another man’s poison.
  • Put your burger where your mouth is.
  • Slaughter is the best medicine.
  • Taste makes waist.
  • The early worm gets picked first.
  • The light at the end of the tunnel is only muzzle flash.
  • The road to Hell is the spice of life.
  • The road to Hell wasn’t paved in a day.
  • There is no such thing as a free lunch, but there is always free cheese in a mousetrap.
  • There’s a good deal to be said for making hay while the iron is hot.
  • Too many cooks are better than one.
  • Virtue is its own punishment.
  • What doesn’t kill you makes you stranger.
  • When in Rome, do it yourself.
  • When life hands you lemons, declare them as a loss on your next income tax return.
  • When life hands you lemons, don’t get mad — get even.
  • Where there’s a will, there’s a lawsuit.
  • You can lead a horse to water but you can’t have it both ways.
SoundEagle with Malapropism


The use of an incorrect word in place of a word with a similar sound, resulting in a nonsensical, sometimes humorous utterance.

Malapropisms often occur as errors in natural speech and are sometimes the subject of media attention, especially when made by politicians or other prominent individuals. Philosopher Donald Herbert Davidson has noted that malapropisms show the complex process through which the brain translates thoughts into language.

Humorous malapropisms are the type that attract the most attention and commentary, but bland malapropisms are common in speech and writing. An instance of speech error is called a malapropism when a (re)produced word is nonsensical or ludicrous in context, yet similar in sound to what was intended.

Malapropisms differ from other kinds of speaking or writing mistakes such as eggcorns or spoonerisms, and from the accidental or deliberate production of newly made-up words (neologisms). For example, using obtuse [wide or dull] instead of acute [narrow or sharp] does not constitute a malapropism; whereas using obtuse [stupid or slow-witted] to mean abstruse [esoteric or difficult to understand] amounts to a malapropism. Nevertheless, there are malapropisms that can also be deemed as eggcorns, such as “Having one wife is called monotony” (monogamy).

A malapropism tends to maintain the part of speech of the originally intended word. According to linguist Jean Margaret Aitchison, “[t]he finding that word selection errors preserve their part of speech suggest that the latter is an integral part of the word, and tightly attached to it.”[] Likewise, substitutions tend to have the same number of syllables and the same metrical structure — the same pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables — as the intended word or phrase. If the stress pattern of the malapropism differs from the intended word, then unstressed syllables may be deleted or inserted; whereas stressed syllables and the general rhythmic pattern are maintained.

Malapropisms can often involve homophonic translation (also known as homophonic transformation), which renders a text into a near-homophonic text in the same or another language, such as uttering “And all the king’s men” as “Indolent qui ne se mène” (Lazy is he who is not led); “Caesar adsum jam forte” (I, Caesar, am already here, as it happens) as “Caesar had some jam for tea”; and “recognize speech” as “wreck a nice beach”. The last-mentioned is an often-used example in the literature of speech recognition, an interdisciplinary subfield of computer science and computational linguistics that develops methodologies and technologies to enable the recognition and translation of spoken language into text by computers with the main benefit of searchability.

Four cases of malapropism created from the mind of SoundEagle🦅ೋღஜஇ are shown as follows. The third case even manages to exhibit 27 malapropisms. The fourth can indeed constitute a kind of collaborative poetry whereby the original poem can acquire new imports and dimensions after being transformed by malapropisms.

Original Statement: He is the President of law and order.

With Malapropisms: He is the President of flaw and border.

Original Statement: On being asked “Did you see the fun guy?” I scream “I’m afraid not!”

With Malapropisms: On being asked “Did you see the fungi?” Ice cream “I’m a frayed knot!”

Original Statement: Sir, my husband holding the boysenberries-turkey sandwiches there, is Sergei who likes to conga a little while longer and then jazz up with sax to play the postmodern bossa nova here before I dance the flamenco finale around a man bearing sixty-five roses near his wife holding his last will and testament with an excess of two dozen contiguous clauses for accepting his imminent decease.

With Malapropisms: Sure, my husband holding the boys and barrister quay sand which is there, is a gay who likes to conquer a little wild long girl and then jizz up with sex to pay the postmortem boxer over here before I dance the flamingo finally around a man baring cystic fibrosis near his wife holding his lust will and testicle with an abscess of two thousand contagious causes for excepting his eminent disease.
Original Poem entitled “Fox” by Michaël Janssen:
Crafty fox you are,
a danger in the hen house,
run before the hunt.
Modified Poem by SoundEagle🦅ೋღஜஇ:
Draughty box you are,
a stranger in the penthouse,
fun before the shunt.


  • A malapropism walks into a bar, looking for all intensive purposes like a wolf in cheap clothing, muttering epitaphs and casting dispersions on his magnificent other, who takes him for granite. (for all intents and purposes like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, muttering epigrams and casting aspersions on his significant other, who takes him for granted)
  • Texas has a lot of electrical votes. (electoral votes)
  • Our watch, sir, have indeed comprehended two auspicious persons. (apprehended two suspicious persons)
  • Bride and glum (Bride and groom)
  • Bride and prejudice (Pride and prejudice)
  • A pigment of my imagination (figment)
  • A menstrual show (minstrel)
  • A minstrel cycle (menstrual)
  • Last will and tentacle (testament)
  • Upsetting the apple tart (apple cart)
  • Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott once claimed that no one “is the suppository of all wisdom” (repository or depository).
  • Similarly, as reported in New Scientist, an office worker had described a colleague as “a vast suppository of information”. The worker then apologised for his “Miss-Marple-ism” (malapropism).
  • Our watch, sir, have indeed comprehended two auspicious persons. (apprehended two suspicious persons)
  • Illiterate him quite from your memory. (obliterate)
  • She’s as headstrong as an allegory. (alligator)
  • He is the very pineapple of politeness. (pinnacle)
  • Rainy weather can be hard on the sciences. (sinuses)
  • Alice said that she couldn’t eat crabs or any other crushed Asians. (crustaceans)
  • I have no delusions to the past. (allusions)
  • Good punctuation means not to be late. (punctuality)
  • The flood damage was so bad that they had to evaporate the city. (evacuate)
  • Buy one of these battery-operated transvestite radios (transistor)
  • A woman doctor is only good for women’s problems … like your groinocology. (gynaecology)
  • Having one wife is called monotony. (monogamy)
SoundEagle with Eggcorn


An idiosyncratic substitution of a word or phrase for a word or words that sound similar or identical in the speaker’s dialect (sometimes called oronyms).

An eggcorn is a word or phrase that sounds like and is mistakenly used for another word or phrase in a seemingly logical or plausible way. The new word or phrase introduces a meaning that is different from the original but plausible in the same context, such as “old-timers’ disease” for “Alzheimer’s disease”. An eggcorn can be described as an intra-lingual phono-semantic matching, a matching in which the intended word and substitute are from the same language. The term eggcorn was coined by British-American professor of linguistics Geoffrey Keith Pullum in September 2003 in response to an article by American linguist Mark Yoffe Liberman on the website Language Log, a blog for linguists. Liberman discussed the case of a woman who substitutes the phrase egg corn for the word acorn, and argued that the precise phenomenon lacked a name. Pullum suggested using “eggcorn” itself as a label.

An eggcorn differs from a malapropism, the latter being a substitution that creates a nonsensical phrase. Classical malapropisms generally derive their comic effect from the fault of the user, whilst eggcorns are substitutions that exhibit creativity, logic or ignorance. Nevertheless, there are cases that can be classified as both eggcorns and malapropisms, such as “Having one wife is called monotony” (monogamy). Eggcorns often involve replacing an unfamiliar, archaic or obscure word with a more common or modern word (“baited breath” for “bated breath”).

The phenomenon of eggcorn is similar to the form of wordplay known as the pun, except that, by definition, the speaker or writer intends the pun to have some humorous effect on the recipient, whereas one who speaks or writes an eggcorn is unaware of or ignorant about the effect. Eggcorn is also similar to but differs from mondegreens (a mishearing or misinterpretation of a word or phrase, often within the lyrics of a specific song or other type of performance) or a folk etymology (a change in the form of a word caused by widespread misunderstanding of the word’s etymology), because it must still retain something of the original meaning as the speaker understands it, and may be a replacement for a poorly understood phrase rather than a mishearing or misinterpretation.

Overall, eggcorns occur when people try to deploy analogy and logic to make sense of an idiom or (stock) expression that includes a term which is unmeaningful to them. For instance, the regular expression “in one fell swoop” might be replaced by “in one foul swoop”, the archaic adjective “fell” being substituted with the common word “foul” to convey the cruel or underhand meaning of the phrase as the speaker understands or interprets it. Hence, eggcorns are of interest to linguists as they not merely show language changing in real time, but also can reveal how and why the change occurs. As Jan Freeman elegantly puts it on 26 September 2010 in an essay entitled “So wrong it’s right: The ‘eggcorn’ has its day”:

And because they make sense, eggcorns are interesting in a way that mere disfluencies and malapropisms are not: They show our minds at work on the language, reshaping an opaque phrase into something more plausible. They’re tiny linguistic treasures, pearls of imagination created by clothing an unfamiliar usage in a more recognizable costume.…

And when the misconceived word or expression has spread so widely that we all use it, it’s a folk etymology — or, to most of us, just another word. Bridegroom, hangnail, Jerusalem artichoke — all started out as mistakes.

But we no longer beat ourselves up because our forebears substituted groom for the Old English guma (“man”), or modified agnail (“painful nail”) into hangnail, or reshaped girasole (“sunflower” in Italian) into the more familiar Jerusalem.

The border between these folk-etymologized words, blessed by history and usage, and the newer eggcorns is fuzzy, and there’s been some debate already at the American Dialect Society’s listserv, ADS-L, about whether the distinction is real. Probably there is no bright line; to me, “you’ve got another thing coming” and “wile away the hours” are eggcorns — recent reshapings of expressions I learned as “another think” and “while away” — but to you they may be normal.

But we face the same problem in deciding which senses are valid for everyday, non-eggcornish words. When does nonplussed for “unfazed” or enormity for “hugeness” become the standard sense? We can only wait and see; the variants may duke it out for decades, but if a change takes hold, the battle will one day be forgotten.

The little eggcorn is in the same situation: It’s struggling to overcome its mixed-up heritage and grow into the kind of respectable adulthood enjoyed by the Jerusalem artichoke. We’re not obliged to help it along, but while it’s here, we might as well enjoy its wacky poetry.

Jim Bernhard sums up on 24 August 2015 in his essay entitled “A Rash of Eggcorns” published on his blog aptly named “Words Going Wild” as follows:

The Bard of Buffalo Bayou is an old hand at eggcorns; much of his life has been based upon misunderstandings.

For all intensive purposes,
I’m just biting my time,
Till the day that I pass mustard
And learn to step on a dime.

When I was just a whimper-snapper,
My clothes were handy-down.
But now I am of lethal age,
And happy as a clown.

One case involving eggcorns created from the mind of SoundEagle🦅ೋღஜஇ is shown as follows.

Original Statement: Once the vying guards get into the open there’ll be no holds barred!

With Eggcorn: Once the Viking gods get into the heaven there’ll be no souls marred!


  • a new leash on life (a new lease on life)
  • a social leopard (a social leper)
  • brass tax (brass tacks)
  • biting time (buying time)
  • card shark (card sharp)
  • coldslaw (coleslaw)
  • curl up in the feeble position (curl up in the fetal position)
  • curve your hunger (curb your hunger)
  • damp squid (damp squib)
  • escape goat (scapegoat)
  • ex-patriot (expatriate)
  • fetal position (feeble position)
  • for all intensive purposes (for all intents and purposes)
  • fork handles (four candles)
  • free reign (free rein)
  • hone in on the target (home in on the target)
  • in one foul swoop (in one fell swoop)
  • internally grateful (eternally grateful)
  • I shutter to think (I shudder to think)
  • It’s a doggy dog world (It’s a dog-eat-dog world)
  • mating name (maiden name)
  • make due without (make do without)
  • nip that in the butt (nip that in the bud)
  • old-timers’ disease (Alzheimer’s disease)
  • on the spurt of the moment (on the spur of the moment)
  • pass mustard (pass muster)
  • pet peas (pet peeves)
  • preying mantis (praying mantis)
  • rebel-rouser (rabble-rouser)
  • right of passage (rite of passage)
  • selfphone (cellphone)
  • take a new tact (take a new tack)
  • take things for granite (take things for granted)
  • to the manner born (to the manor born)
  • tow the line (toe the line)
  • with baited breath (with bated breath)
  • A woman doctor is only good for women’s problems … like your groinocology. (gynaecology)
  • Having one wife is called monotony. (monogamy)
SoundEagle with Yogi-isms


Malapropisms as well as pithy and paradoxical statements.

Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra (12 May 1925 – 22 September 2015) was an American professional baseball catcher, who later took on the roles of manager and coach.

As a celebrity, Berra was also well-known for his impromptu pithy comments, quirky sayings, memorable quips, malapropisms, and seemingly unintentional witticisms known as “Yogi-isms”, which frequently took the form of either an apparent tautology or a contradiction, but often with an underlying and powerful message that offered not just humour but also wisdom. Allen Barra, an American journalist and author of sports books, has described Yogi-isms as “distilled bits of wisdom which, like good country songs and old John Wayne movies, get to the truth in a hurry.”[]

The lack of a definitive origin or provenance, the risks of misattributions or misquotations, and the pitfalls of Authority Bias and Author Bias have remained with some Yogi-isms indefinitely. In an essay entitled “Yogi Berra Wasn’t Trying to Be Witty”, Jeremy Stahl, the senior editor at Slate, attempts to give a credible account of Yogi-isms and their popular appeal to the public imagination as the sayings of a wise buffoon:

Many a line attributed to Berra either came from old jokes or appeared earlier than he could have coined them. (In at least two cases, Yogi-isms originally appeared in early-20th-century New Yorker essays, including one by Dorothy Parker).

How did the legend of the Yogi-isms become the dominant narrative of Berra’s life? In part it’s because Berra truly did have a remarkable ability to turn a phrase that was simultaneously paradoxical and clever. (“It’s déjà vu all over again” is one of the more famous lines that he actually said.) But the answer also has to do with the media mores of another time; sportswriters and other journalists felt free in those days to exaggerate, or even fabricate, facts to fit a storyline. When looking back on Berra’s era, historians face a real challenge separating myth from reality for many great players and sports personalities. Yogi Berra the legend was just the most pronounced of these modern myths, and the one that has lasted the longest.

The Yogi Berra who captured the imagination of popular culture—Berra as idiot savant—was a narrative that Berra disliked early in his career, before coming to accept and cannily profit off of it later on. As much as this Yogi was a creation of Berra himself, he also was a product of Berra’s childhood friend and fellow pro ballplayer Joe Garagiola. A catcher like Berra, Garagiola helped [to] proliferate this image as a major league broadcaster, before parlaying his Yogi stories into national fame as a panelist on NBC’s Today Show.


  • “90 percent of baseball is mental; the other half is physical.”
  • On why Berra no longer went to Rigazzi’s, a St Louis restaurant: “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”
  • On declining attendance in Kansas City: “If people don’t want to come to the ballpark, how the hell are you gonna stop them?”
  • On posterity: “I always thought that record would stand until it was broken.”
  • On economics: “A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”
  • On Berra’s hitting approach: “I can’t think and hit at the same time.”
  • On advising a young player trying to emulate the great Frank Robinson’s swing: “If you can’t imitate him, don’t copy him.”
  • On the 1973 Mets: “We were overwhelming underdogs.”
  • On the effect of the sun in left field in the old Yankee Stadium during late-season games: “It gets late early out there.”
  • The recording heard on the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center’s phone: “This message won’t be over ’til it’s done.”
  • “So I’m ugly. I never saw anyone hit with his face.”
  • “He hits from both sides of the plate. He’s amphibious.”
  • “Even Napoleon had his Watergate.”
  • “It ain’t over till it’s over.”
  • “We have deep depth.”
  • “Pair up in threes.”
  • “It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.”
  • “In baseball, you don’t know nothing.”
  • “All pitchers are liars or crybabies.”
  • When giving directions to Joe Garagiola to his New Jersey home, which was accessible by two routes: “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
  • At Yogi Berra Day at Sportsman Park in St Louis: “Thank you for making this day necessary.”
  • “It’s déjà vu all over again.”
  • “You can observe a lot by watching.”
  • “We made too many wrong mistakes.”
  • “Never answer an anonymous letter.”
  • “Take it with a grin of salt.”
  • “Pie a la mode, with ice cream.”
  • “Always go to other people’s funerals; otherwise they won’t go to yours.”
  • “I’m lucky. Usually you’re dead to get your own museum, but I’m still alive to see mine.”
  • “I’m not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did.”
  • “If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be.”
  • “The future ain’t what it used to be.”
  • “Why buy good luggage? You only use it when you travel.”
  • Berra once simultaneously denied and confirmed his reputation by stating, “I really didn’t say everything I said.”


Very much in the vein of Yogi-isms is the much less familiar Goldwynism, eponymously named after Samuel Goldwyn (27 August 1882 – 31 January 1974) who are known for such remarks. He was a Polish-American film producer best known for being the founding contributor and executive of several motion picture studios in Hollywood, winning the 1973 Golden Globe Cecil B DeMille Award, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1958, and the Irving G Thalberg Memorial Award in 1947. According to A.Word.A.Day at Wordsmith.org, Goldwynism is “[a] humorous statement or phrase resulting from the use of incongruous or contradictory words, situations, idioms, etc.” Some examples include the following:

  • “Include me out.”
  • “When I want your opinion I will give it to you.”
  • “I’ll give you a definite maybe.”
  • “If I could drop dead right now, I would be the happiest man alive.”
  • “Anybody who goes to a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined.”
  • “I may not always be right, but I am never wrong.”
  • “In two words im-possible.”

Considering that Goldwyn was born nearly 43 years earlier, it is unclear as to whether “Yogi” Berra ever learnt about and emulated Goldwynism.

SoundEagle with Spoonerism or Sreudian Flip

Spoonerism or Sreudian Flip

A slip of the tongue.

A spoonerism is a speech error or word play caused by phonetic mix-ups whereby corresponding consonants, vowels or morphemes are switched (see Metathesis) between two words in a phrase. The condition is named after the Oxford don and ordained minister, the Reverend William Archibald Spooner (1844–1930), who was a warden of New College, Oxford, and who was allegedly famous for manifesting it. A spoonerism is also known as a marrowsky, purportedly after a Polish count who suffered from the same impediment.

An example of spoonerism is remarking “The Lord is a shoving leopard” instead of “The Lord is a loving shepherd.” While spoonerisms are commonly heard as slips of the tongue, and getting one’s words in a tangle, they can also be used intentionally as a play on words.

Spoonerism is definitely a good case of misquotation, as most of the quotations attributed to Spooner are apocryphal, the result of misattributions, outright fabrications and college pranks. Evidence supporting Spooner as the original exemplar of spoonerism is very scant and patchy at best. The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (3rd edition, 1979) enumerates only one substantiated spoonerism: “The weight of rages will press hard upon the employer” (instead of “rate of wages”). Spooner himself claimed that “Kinquering Congs Their Titles Take” (instead of “Conquering Kings” in reference to a hymn) was his sole spoonerism. Most spoonerisms were probably never uttered by Spooner but rather concocted by colleagues and students as a pastime. In other words, the vast majority of spoonerisms are really just bogus quotes insofar as they are quotations that have been fabricated and falsely attributed to Spooner, after whom this particular form of error in speech has been coined.

Soon after the dawn of the third millennium, SoundEagle🦅ೋღஜஇ accidentally uttered “The long is too song.” instead of “The song is too long.”, and then blurted out the term “Sreudian flip” on being amused by the slip of the tongue, by spoonerizingFreudian slip”, which is a well-known term in classical psychoanalysis to describe an error in speech, memory or physical action that is interpreted as occurring due to the interference of an internal train of thought, unconscious subdued wish, subconscious emotion, repressed feeling or suppressed desire. Two more examples created from the mind of SoundEagle🦅ೋღஜஇ are shown as follows. The first example even manages to exhibit two spoonerisms or Sreudian flips:

We like to see the big parks at Bay Moon Town.🏞
We like to see the pig barks at May Boon Town.🐖

The sunny bays welcome everybody.🏖️
The bunny says, “Welcome everybody.”Little White Rabbit

Those who wish to learn more may read the book entitled “Experimental Slips and Human Error: Exploring the Architecture of Volition”.


  • “Three cheers for our queer old dean!” (rather than “dear old queen”, which is a reference to Queen Victoria)
  • “Is it kisstomary to cuss the bride?” (as opposed to “customary to kiss”)
  • “The Lord is a shoving leopard.” (instead of “a loving shepherd”)
  • “A blushing crow” (“crushing blow”)
  • “A well-boiled icicle” (“well-oiled bicycle”)
  • “The witch daughter” (“ditch water”)
  • “Those fairy dudes” (“dairy foods”)
  • “Touch down” (“Dutch town”)
  • “A cave brat” (“brave cat”)
  • “A sour paw” (“power saw”)
  • “He shook a tower” (“took a shower”)
  • “You were fighting a liar in the quadrangle.” (“lighting a fire”)
  • “Is the bean dizzy?” (“dean busy”)
  • “Runny Babbit dashed the wishes.” (“Bunny Rabbit washed the dishes.”)
  • “Someone is occupewing my pie. Please sew me to another sheet.” (“Someone is occupying my pew. Please show me to another seat.”)
  • “You have hissed all my mystery lectures. You have tasted a whole worm. Please leave Oxford on the next town drain.” (“You have missed all my history lectures. You have wasted a whole term. Please leave Oxford on the next down train.”)
  • [Alex] once proclaimed, “Hey, belly jeans” when he found a stash of jelly beans. But when he says [that] he pepped in stew, we’ll tell him [that] he should wipe his shoe.
  • “I’ll go down to the studio and dub on some more porn hearts”, meaning to say ‘horn parts’.
  • A contestant on a quiz show called “Wheel of Fortune” once said, “I’d like to vie a bowel”, in lieu of saying “buy a vowel”.

86 comments on “🤭😜 Speech Error: Anti-Proverb, Perverb, Malapropism, Eggcorn, Yogi-isms, Spoonerism, Sreudian Flip 🤪😂

  1. MY current favourite, I’ll have a teasted toecake please, A TOASTED TEACAKE.which is also funny as the current favourite as the teacake is full of currants.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. It may not be OK to play with one’s food, but one should always play with one’s words.
    This is my Marxist philosophy – and Harpo said it best, maybe in A Night at the Oprah. (Winfrey or die? I think not, therefore I am.)

    Liked by 5 people

  3. This is a wonderful blog post Sound Eagle.
    I thoroughly enjoyed perusing. Once you’ve mastered a language and honed your writing skills there is so much you can do. You become the commander.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. 😂🤣😂🤣 I love this! I’ve definitely committed a Spoonerism many times! And the “old-timers” disease blunder I made once when I was a little girl! Awesome post!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. What a wealth of knowledge.. and you taught me some new words into the bargain. 😊
    Thank you for the education SE. And the smiles😁 they brought while reading through these terms of speech errors.
    Laugh and the world laughs with you …
    And we need more laughter .. Language often has duplicate meaning . Many thanks for sharing some errors in this excellent presentation.
    Kind regards ..

    Liked by 4 people

    • Dear Sue Dreamwalker

      You are very welcome. Thank you for your acknowledgement and edifying message about laughter.

      It is delightful that you have enjoyed this whimsical post to such a highly satisfying degree, even getting what you had not expected or bargained for. Significantly improved and expanded since your last visit, the post is ready to deliver more laughter.

      On this revamped and even wittier version, let’s also reiterate your message about not being too serious by restating your reply to SoundEagle🦅’s comment submitted to your blog post entitled “Turning Over A New Earth” as follows:

      It’s good to laugh SE and not take ourselves too seriously.. The world needs more laughter and not adhere to so many man made rules, that at the end of the day mean little in the scheme of things . Especially to what we see unfolding in the world.

      Look forward to bloopers and blunders.. we all make them 🥰
      Have a great week SE. 😀

      May you and your family have a cheerfully warm season as summer dawns and June approaches, and as all of us are being lampooned by our own amusing “blunders” or “bloopers” from time to time, my dear Drue Seamwalker!

      Yours sincerely,Rose Greeting

      Liked by 2 people

  6. A thoroughly fascinating and interesting article, superbly presented ..

    Liked by 4 people

  7. The baby was born pretty-much-early?

    Liked by 5 people

  8. Soundeagle, well done. I love the “Yogi-isms.” They are classic. When he was moved to left field late in his career, the tall Yankee Stadium would cast shadows late in the day making it hard to see. Yogi said “It gets dark early out there.” Keith

    Liked by 6 people

  9. Love the Yogi-isms. That man was something else.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. What a GREAT post! I loved the preverbs and malapropisms! When I was studying biology there was a process in development called invagination. And you would watch it by using pigments to stain the cells. We called the pigments of our invagination!

    Liked by 6 people

  11. What a fantastic post, SoundEagle! I learned things I didn’t know. Now I can identify these wonderful word plays with the correct title. Thank you for a lovely education post, and your cartoons add to the whimsical joy gleaned from your writing!

    Liked by 3 people

  12. A comprehensive and well-written post Sound Eagle. I’m not sure whether it would be considered a malaprop or eggcorn, but something I wrongfully said for years was “I could care less”, rather than the proper “I couldn’t care less”. Also, I like the one by Yogi Berra about Rigazzi’s restaurant in St. Louis, which I went to a couple times in the 17 years I lived in St. Louis.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. i am addicted to the TV quiz show “Jeopardy” and since i give it an extra 30 minutes when taping it, i have the great privilege of watching some of the dumbest people ever on a quiz show called ‘Wheel of Fortune” where you buy letters to fill in a phrase that you have to solve. Anyway, a contestant on it once said, “I’d like to vie a bowel.” continue…

    Liked by 5 people

  14. Malapropisms always remind me of Constance Dogberry from MAAN. Perverbs may be my new favorite word. Thanks for the new knowledge. 💜🦋

    Liked by 5 people

  15. Highly informative, it is a great article. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 4 people

  16. You could teach an entire course in critical thinking on these provocative word expressions. As usual, your blogs always make me “think outside the box”

    Liked by 5 people

  17. […] says: This whimsical post shows that whilst some notable forms of allusion, imitation, appropriation, resignification, […]

    Liked by 3 people

  18. I love your post. I am a poet and I love wordplay. I am always busy in my mind putting images together and then I write poetry from what I gather. My personal experiences help guide me through. My brain is wired differently so I don’t have speech but I learned how to translate what I hear. I think it has made me clever because I have to work harder than most people to speak for myself. Your post also reminds me of how poetry is a clever structure of words, it’s creativity.

    Liked by 4 people

  19. Interesting and informative; thank you for sharing this great article 🌹

    Liked by 4 people

  20. state gruff! (great stuff!)


    Liked by 5 people

  21. I am delighted to learn of the egg corn. An old friend once stated, “Once they get into it there’ll be no bars holding!” (No holds barred)

    Does that qualify?

    Liked by 5 people

    • Dear Elizabeth

      Welcome! Like the entirety of this whimsical post, the section on eggcorns has been significantly improved and expanded since your last visit for the purpose of delivering not merely more laughter but also more extensive edification.

      Transforming “no holds barred” (meaning that no rules or restrictions apply in a fight, contest, conflict or dispute) into “no bars holding” does not constitute an eggcorn, which is a word or phrase that sounds like and is mistakenly used for another word or phrase in a seemingly logical or plausible way. A much more convincing solution would be to convert “no holds barred” into “no souls marred” as follows:

      Original Statement: Once they get into the open there’ll be no holds barred!

      With Eggcorns: Once they get into the heaven there’ll be no souls marred!

      Please observe that turning “open” into “heaven” constitutes more as a witty malapropism than a typical eggcorn.

      The key point to remember is that an eggcorn differs from a malapropism by the fact that the latter is a substitution that creates a nonsensical phrase. Classical malapropisms generally derive their comic effect from the fault of the user, whilst eggcorns are substitutions that exhibit creativity, logic or ignorance. Eggcorns often involve replacing an unfamiliar, archaic or obscure word with a more common or modern word (“baited breath” for “bated breath”).

      Yours sincerely,Rose Greeting

      Liked by 1 person

  22. What a fascinating post SoundEagle. I love seeing you write again. It’s been awhile and you never fail to entertain! Thank you so much! 💖

    Liked by 4 people

  23. Love ,Love….. it ! Marvelous article! Thanks for sharing & thanks for the follow! Nice meeting you here and I can already tell I’m going to love all of your post!!🙏🙌🥰

    Liked by 6 people

  24. your blogs are always interesting , colorful , with deep insight
    we saw that you invest a lot of time in then

    Liked by 4 people

  25. Never answer an anonymous letter. Such a wonderfully brilliant example!

    Liked by 3 people

  26. The best, most profound, and saddest statement along these lines is what George W. Bush said in a speech on 5/18/22: “…the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq.” Bush is known for misspeaking, but this amounts to not so much a Freudian slip as a Freudian fall off a high cliff.

    By the way, you appeared to reverse the incorrect and correct versions in some of the eggcorns:
    “pass muster (pass mustard)”
    “to the manor born (to the manner born)”

    The substitution of “free reign” for “free rein” is definitely one of my pet peeves. But when we grew sugar snap peas in our garden last year and had to constantly dote on them to keep them going, were they pet peas? (And can you teach them tricks?)

    The way cell phones are used, I suppose they really are selfphones. And since praying mantises are quite good at hunting, perhaps they are preying too?

    Fun stuff!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Dear Elene

      Your proofreading has proven to be effective. Thank you for pointing out what should have been correctly paired in the reversed order. Should you come across or make up some arresting speech error, please feel free to enlighten us.

      As for “Reign” or “Rein”, the full answer can be found in the special post entitled 🦅 SoundEagle in Art and Poetry 📜, in which a number of poems are featured in bespoke formats, including the following one (plus detailed explanations about its construction in the said post):

      Swirls of Gypsy Delight
      Usurp my Gothic Knight
      Reign not SoundEagle🦅’s Flight
      For I seek thy Crested Might

      Longing for a better Reign with

      Yours sincerely,Rose Greeting

      Liked by 2 people

  27. Witty as ever. Love the Sreudian Flips. My favorites, “if it’s not one thing, it’s a mother.” Also, “the closer to the truth you get, the father and father away you truly are. I thoroughly enjoyed the first part of what I was able to read and will have to re-circle back soon to read the next part. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  28. 😂 Brilliant post. Olive it! ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  29. Creative post! I loved reading all of the examples. And the graphics are cute. Thank you, SoundEagle!

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Yogisms have long been a BIG HIT with me (pun intended). Another famous (at least to old movie buffs) practitioner of such confusion of words was movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn:

    Liked by 2 people

  31. […] in one of his many whimsical posts, looks at the allusive distortion, parody, misapplication, or unexpected contextualization of a […]

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Very nice. Archie Bunker made malaprops famous in the seventies, but this is the first I’ve heard of anti-proverbs. Thanks so much for the read. : )

    Liked by 2 people

  33. That ‘amphibious’ Yogi-ism is the best of the lot.
    About the chefs, wouldn’t it be “too many cooks are better than None?”

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Very fun read! My son and I often create spoonerisms during our conversations, and we have a tanned old grime. :3

    I love your website!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear M.H.Jones

      Welcome! It would seem that you have spoonerized “a grand old time” by uttering “a tanned old grime”. Hopefully, you will return to inform SoundEagle🦅 of your other daring or glaring examples of Sreudian flip.

      Before signing off, SoundEagle🦅 is whispering into your ear the very idea of writing a new post or even a new book entitled “The Bed Rook” by spoonerizing the title of your post “From the Red Book”. A rook can be a gregarious Eurasian crow with black plumage and a bare face, or a chess piece in the shape of a battlement.

      May you continue to love this website to your heart’s content!

      Yours sincerely,Rose Greeting

      Liked by 1 person

  35. “Absence makes the fart go Honda” is the punchline of a very elaborate joke. Google it!

    Liked by 2 people

  36. What a great collection of word fun.
    Archie Bunker was always saying things like “He’s making suppository remarks about us country!” I myself used to always say things were a pigment of my emancipation.
    We see a lot of malapropisms in the closed captioning on TV.
    Dictating to a cell phone can create problems. When I asked a friend to pray for a shipment of my books to arrive in time for my next book signing, she answered, “I will certainly pray for your b******t.” – I thought she liked my books! 😟 (Autocorrect is my worst enema.)

    Liked by 2 people

  37. Nice post, i did an Alt-F to find if one of my faves was there. It’s usually (mis)attributed to Yogi Berra – “in theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. in practice, there is” – apparently it hails from computer science lore.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Excellent job, Sound Eagle. Great examples, excellent authentication

    Liked by 2 people

  39. “The Proverbs of Hell” (Blake) comes close to falling into one or another category, but they’re unique proverbs that subvert the usual wisdom. These are like little acid trip proverbs. A poet friend of mine is also great at these “near misses” in the categorization above. The first one he wrote to me was “He rescued the dog from the burning baby.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Jeff

      Thank you for citing William Blake’s Proverbs of Hell. For the benefit of other readers and commenters here, you are very welcome to provide a comparable proverb or sentence to indicate or highlight how its intended meaning or usual wisdom has been subverted by the sentence “He rescued the dog from the burning baby.

      Yours sincerely,Rose Greeting

      Liked by 2 people

      • My friend Walter Cybulski likes to find comic release from his usual cumulo-linguistic escalations by raining down a series of surreal semi-idiotic semiotics, such as “he rescued the dog from the burning baby”, which carry along just fine, making sense up until the last word, for there’s nothing absurd about “he rescued the dog from the burning…” but “baby” isn’t what is expected. The little urchin of a word makes a mockery of every word preceding it. We had expected to dog to be rescued from a burning building, but now we’re forced to picture a surreal dog standing next to a placidly burning infant — placidly because the whole sentence has been reduced at the last minute to a cartoonish absurdity. Blake, throughout The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, provides wisdom from the divided perspectives of Heaven and Hell, each to some degree a subversion of the other. And it’s this opposition that Blake recognizes as the true disaster, for if we can’t find a way to heal the opposition between heaven and hell we live in a false world, something perhaps worse than hell and far less than heaven, for there is no growth, no life here in the land of opposites. So here the “devil’s” wisdom is restorative, subverting the acceptable wisdom of a divided heaven, such as “As the caterpillar chooses the fairest leaves to lay her eggs on, so the priest lays his curse on the fairest joys.”

        Liked by 3 people

      • Not only is the placid dog trying to comfort the burning baby, but a man is risking his life to save the dog, rather than the baby. It tickles into existence an entire universe operating on subverted motives.

        Liked by 1 person

  40. An exchange between DD and SoundEagle (about DD checking the spam file occasionally) led to publication of a Senryu at https://davidwdon.wordpress.com With your permission, I reproduce it here.
    Apology to SpamEagle

    I’ll not blame eyesight
    I’m just ruthless with spam
    So Sorry SoundEagle
    There is so much to learn in your posts SE. Thank you DD

    Liked by 2 people

  41. very well done, enjoyed reading this very much. i’ve always been a big fan of yogi-ism, i used to enjoy telling the employees in my coffee shop to ” line up alphabetically according to height”

    Liked by 2 people

  42. Fascinating! One favourite of mine was in an a recent email ‘I was a hare’s breath from her’

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Intriguing thoughts. I have a long habit of spoonerisms. This ought to be a book!

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Dear SoundEagle,

    A very informative piece that

    Liked by 1 person

  45. had me laughing until I was crying! I didn’t know that my family’s jokes had names and categories. Ha! Brilliantly written!!

    Thank you for your talent!

    Liked by 1 person

  46. The end of humour as we know it

    d calls it humour
    (humour that won’t make you laugh)
    id makes whole self laugh

    ~ well I like it, freud ~
    Thank you for the invite to re-post here SoundEagle. Kind regards, David Don

    Liked by 1 person

  47. I don’t want to be accused of being obsequious or sycophantic or some other bootlicking adjective, but this was really good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jennifer

      Thank you for your somewhat circumspect compliment. Your grading this post as “really good” can hardly be construed as “being obsequious or sycophantic”, since you have not used expressions such as “astoundingly extraordinary” or “supremely impressive”, unless such a grading from you is already an overestimate or inflated praise of the true merit of such a post as assessed by you. In any case, overzealous self-censorship or strict prudence is neither a prerequisite nor a luxury on SoundEagle🦅’s intellectual home, sonic nest, musical den and artistic eyrie, where your highest degree and manifestation of inquisitiveness, sagacity and well-reasoned response are most welcome, as they constitute a clear indication that you have been content, spurred and enthused by the quality, timeliness and relevance of SoundEagle🦅’s 📑Posts and Pages📃, assuming that you have indeed been suitably impressed and convinced by their styles, contents and manners of presentation.

      SoundEagle🦅 has prepared a detailed User Guide for maximizing and optimizing your immersive experience and enjoyment. Clicking the button below will instantly transport you there:

      🥳🪟🎖️ How to Enjoy SoundEagle🦅 to the Utmost 🥇🏢🍹

      May you, the quintessential Social Median/Mediator/MediaMatrix, enjoy a wonderful weekend whilst finding more satisfying 📑Posts and Pages📃 to peruse and comment on!

      Yours sincerely,Rose Greeting

      Liked by 2 people

      • Wow, I’m so smitten with this comment you’ve written! Most folks won’t absorb the time to scarcely bother to scarcely reply❣️

        Liked by 2 people

      • Besides and for your records,

        I don’t mind when I malaprop or even when I maladrop;
        I simply reach down and pick Mala back up.

        That’s all there is to it,
        “I’m SO NOT stupid
        ALL THE TIME.”

        Insincerely Signed,
        “Only Partially Stupid
        PART OF THE TIME.”

        Liked by 1 person

  48. The concept of anti-proverbs intrigues me. Some of the examples are simply odd combinations of two common maxims. The others, which in my opinion require greater creative effort, actually twist the original meaning of a familiar proverbs with clever wordplay.

    The former is simpler. For example… “A picture is worth two in the bush.” Or… “An apple a day is worth a pound of cure.”

    For the latter… “No man is a peninsula.” Or… “You’re never too old to pave your path with good intentions.” Oh wait, that one is from the former category…

    Liked by 1 person

  49. […] 🤭😜 Speech Error: Anti-Proverb, Perverb, Malapropism, Eggcorn, Yogi-isms, Spoonerism, Sreudian … […]


  50. […] 🤭😜 Speech Error: Anti-Proverb, Perverb, Malapropism, Eggcorn, Yogi-isms, Spoonerism, Sreudian … […]


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