The Daily Courier Logo
Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
11:34 AM Mon, Nov. 12th

Who needs a foreign language when there's English <BR>

Much like a bad penny, those silly spoonerisms, mondegreens and malaprops just keep turning up. Where can it all lead? Beats me.

For example, I heard from Susan Jones of Prescott, who passed along the poignant fairy tale of "Ladle Rat Rotten Hut" (sounds remotely Germanic) that's been knocking around in her family for at least 40 years. If that title evokes a "huh?" I'll understand. Would you believe it's "Little Red Riding Hood"?

I'll quote only one snippet for you to fret over and then – at the bottom of the column – translate it as best I can, OK? So here goes:

"Wail, wail, wail," set disc wicket woof. "Evanescent Ladle Rat Rotten Hut. Wares or putty ladle gull goring wizard ladle basking?"

"Armour goring tumor groin murders," reprisal ladle gull. "Grammar's seeking bet."

Moving right along, I heard from Byrd Woodward of Spring Valley, whose daughter Robin and her friend had problems with two patriotic songs when they were young – "My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liver tea" and "Oh, beautiful four spaceship guys" (referring to the four original astronauts).

Then we have this recollection from Spunky (real name) Creger of Prescott, whose aunt strode into an El Paso hardware store some years ago and asked where she could find a "stink sopper."

And Spunky's sister in East Texas, during the scary Cold War era, was considering building a "shell-out falter."

Also, spoonerisms are as near as your friendly Internet, where Google visitors can feed on "goonerisms spalore" on its web site while listing its "top spine noonerisms." Among them: drain bamage, sparking pace, joking smacket, teepy slime and West Bestern.

But enough!

***

Yeah, I'm guilty. Guilty as sin, because I proofed page 34 of Friday's Scene tab section where it said a fellow was going to be singing "acapela". Just read right past it, unfortunately.

It could've been worse, though, I suppose. After all, a Prescott friend, Lynn Johnson, tells about something that happened when she went back to Waxhaw, N.C., in July to attend funeral services for her former husband. A family member had called the preacher who was going to preside beforehand and requested that "In the Garden" be sung a cappella at the graveside. Well, the flier that he passed out to those in attendance had it right with "In the Garden," but noted that it should be sung "aqua pella." Oh, well…

***

Here's the translation, as near as I can figure:

"Well, well, well," said this wicked wolf. "If it isn't Little Red Riding Hood. Where's our pretty little girl going with her little basket?"

"I'm-a-going to my grandmother's," replied the little girl. "Grandma's sick in bed."

Contact the columnist at jjackson@prescottaz.com