Your new buzzword: mondegreen

Right, I think this blog should have a bit more of what we’re used to. It’s been fun writing about new things, but I’m bored of that now. Plus, I am tired of seeing  Donald Trump on the news, I don’t even live in America. So that’s all I’m saying about politics, put your keyboards down please and pick up your dictionaries. 

So, here we are with a literary device: MONDEGREENS

Family: Metathesis

Metathesis is the swapping of syllables and sounds of letters in a word Solecism is an umbrella term meaning a grammatical mistake in speech and writing. So when this transposition occurs, we get irony or humour. 

Related terms: spoonerisms and malapropisms. 


A spoonerism is named after William Spooner, and it means where the initial sound or letter has been transposed. Spooner was a Vicar, and since this job involves a lot of speaking aloud. So instead of saying “flutterby”, it becomes “butterfly”. This is used for comedic effect, and refers to the spoken word. 


A malapropism is similar to a spoonerism, except an entire word becomes substituted instead of a syllable. Word association is sometimes used with malapropism because certain words are substituted e.g. Dancing the flamingo instead of flamenco. One popular phrase which is “the world is your lobster”. 


Mondegreens are misheard or mispronounced words, usually in songs, that are almost homophones. Mondegreens can occur either due to someone’s accent when pronouncing a word, sound quality (for songs) or the listener simply mishearing. Typical examples include: “hit me with your pet shark” instead of “hit me with your best shot. There’s even a few popular examples of the funniest misheard song lyrics.

A notable character who uses spoonerisms, mondegreens and malapropisms: 

Miranda Sings

Created by Colleen Ballinger, Miranda thrives off being geeky. Miranda was invented as a way of mocking other YouTubers. Miranda regularly mispronounces words in her YouTube channel, as well as misspelling them on her Twitter account. Miranda is an interesting example because she reflects the digital age of the Internet, where everyone thinks they have special talents. 

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