Although Spooner's scholarship, devotion to duty, and wisdom were highly regarded, he has become famous for his "spoonerisms", funny mis-statements that result from the transposition of initial consonants. Few, if any, of his own spoonerisms were deliberate, and many of those attributed to him are apocryphal. Spooner himself hated the reputation he gained for getting his words muddled.
Examples of Spoonerisms include:
"Come into the arms of the shoving leopard" instead of the "come into the arms of the loving shepherd" that he meant to say in one of his homilies.
"You have hissed my mystery lesson" instead of "you have missed my history lesson", talking to a group of pupils who were late for a class.