Tongue Twisters

Any sentence or a group of words that is very difficult to spell correctly or is difficult to articulate or spell correctly is called tongue twisters in the English Language.  Tongue twisters among children are known to be one of them most interesting word games, and they challenge each other to say the tongue twisters several times rapidly. They are usually passed on from one generation to the other and become one of the most prominent parts of the folklore.

Tongue Twisters can be defined as a group of words or group of sentences that are very tough to articulate rapidly due to the presence of close sequence or similar consonantal sounds. For example one of the most common tongue twisters of all time is “She sells sea shells beside the seashore.” Another example of common tongue twisters is “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.” There are many tongue twisters, and all of the tongue twisters have different difficulty levels. Some of them are comparatively easy to spell than others. The level of difficulty is determined by the alliteration patterns.

Tongue-twisters depend upon rapid alternation between very alike but distinct phonemes (such as s [s] and sh [ʃ]) thereby combining two different alternation patterns. Tongue twisters take into account familiar constructs in loanwords and other characteristics of a spoken language to create difficult to articulate sentences. For example, a tongue twister that was named “the most difficult of common English-language tongue-twisters” by William Poundstone is “The seething sea ceaseth and thus the seething sea sufficeth us.”

Tongue twisters are not just for children recreation purpose, but they are used other purposes.

  • Tongue twisters are advised for curing hiccups, lisps, and other speech defects.
  • They are also used as a test for the fit of dentures.
  • They are used as one of the screening parameters for broadcasting positions of applicants.
  • They are useful for improving pronunciation and fluency.
  • Tongue twisters can help in the improvement of accents by the use of alliteration (repetition of one sound)
  • They are practiced by famous personalities such as public speakers, actors, politicians to sound clear while speaking.

Tongue twisters while practicing are mispronounced and most of the times produce results that are very humorous and confusing. Therefore, the tongue twisters are taken for amusement value as well.

Examples of Common Tongue Twisters:

  • Can you can a can as a canner can can a can?
  • How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
  • Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. How many pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick?
  • Frivolously fanciful Fannie fried fresh fish furiously
  • She saw Sharif’s shoes on the sofa. But was she so sure those were Sharif’s shoes she saw?
  • To begin to toboggan first buy a toboggan, but don’t buy too big a toboggan. Too big a toboggan is too big a toboggan to buy to begin to toboggan.
  • A loyal warrior will rarely worry why we rule.
  • A pessimistic pest exists amidst us.
  • How many boards
    Could the Mongols hoard
    If the Mongol hordes got bored? (from the comic Calvin & Hobbes, by Bill Waterson)
  • How can a clam cram in a clean cream can?
  • I saw Susie sitting in a shoe shine shop.
    Where she sits she shines, and where she shines she sits.
  • Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
    A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.
    If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
    Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
  • There was a fisherman named Fisher
    who fished for some fish in a fissure.
    Till a fish with a grin,
    pulled the fisherman in.
    Now they’re fishing the fissure for Fisher.
  • Send toast to ten tense stout saints’ ten tall tents. (by Raymond Weisling)
  • Seth at Sainsbury’s sells thick socks.
  • Clean clams crammed in clean cans.
  • Roberta ran rings around the Roman ruins.
  • Mr. Tongue Twister tried to train his tongue to twist and turn, and twit an twat, to learn the letter “T”.
  • Pete’s pa pete poked to the pea patch to pick a peck of peas for the poor pink pig in the pine hole pig-pen.
  • She saw Sherif’s shoes on the sofa. But was she so sure she saw Sherif’s shoes on the sofa?
  • Give papa a cup of proper coffee in a copper coffee cup.
  • Black background, brown background
  • Seventy-seven benevolent elephants
  • The chic Sikh’s sixty-sixth sheep is sick
  • A loyal warrior will rarely worry why we rule.
  • Medium Which witch switched the Swiss wristwatches?
  • A pessimistic pest exists amidst us.
  • Medium Drew Dodd’s dad’s dog’s dead.
  • She sells seashells by the seashore.
  • A Proper Copper Coffee Pot
  • The sixth sitting sheet slitter slit six sheets.
  • Peggy Badcock.
  • Irish Wristwatch, Swiss Wristwatch.
  • Pad kid poured curd pulled cold.
  • Six slimy snails sailed silently.
  • Red Buick, blue Buick
  • I thought, I thought of thinking of thanking you.
  • Seven slick slimey snakes slowly sliding southward.
  • The great Greek grape growers grow great Greek grapes.
  • Singing Sammy sung songs on sinking sand.
  • We’re real rear wheels.
  • Near an ear, a nearer ear, a nearly eerie ear.
  • On a lazy laser raiser lies a laser ray eraser.
  • How much caramel can a canny canonball cram in a camel if a canny canonball can cram caramel in a camel?
  • Scissors sizzle, thistles sizzle.
  • Tom threw Tim three thumbtacks.
  • He threw three free throws.
  • Fresh French fried fly fritters
  • Betty Botter bought some butter But she said the butter’s bitter If I put it in my batter, it will make my batter bitter But a bit of better butter will make my batter better So ‘twas better Betty Botter bought a bit of better butter
  • How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? He would chuck, he would, as much as he could, and chuck as much wood As a woodchuck would if a woodchuck could chuck wood.
  • She sells sea-shells on the sea-shore.
    The shells she sells are sea-shells, I’m sure.
    For if she sells sea-shells on the sea-shore
    Then I’m sure she sells sea-shore shells.
  • I saw Susie sitting in a shoeshine shop Susie works in a shoeshine shop.
  • Where she shines she sits, and where she sits she shines
  • Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear. Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair. Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t fuzzy, was he?
  • I have got a date at a quarter to eight; I’ll see you at the gate, so don’t be late
  • I saw a kitten eating chicken in the kitchen If a dog chews shoes, whose shoes does he choose?
  • I thought I thought of thinking of thanking you
  • You know New York, you need New York, you know you need unique New York
  • A big black bear sat on a big black rug
  • Tom threw Tim three thumbtacks
  • I wish to wash my Irish wristwatch
  • Near an ear, a nearer ear, a nearly eerie ear Eddie edited it Willie’s really weary
  • He threw three free throws
  • So, this is the sushi chef
  • Four fine fresh fish for you
  • Six sticky skeletons
  • Which witch is which?
  • Flash message
  • Fred fed Ted bread, and Ted fed Fred bread
  • I slit the sheet, the sheet I slit, and on the slitted sheet I sit
  • Nine nice night nurses nursing nicely
  • Red Buick, blue Buick
  • Red lorry, yellow lorry
  • Wayne went to wales to watch walruses
  • Thin sticks, thick bricks
  • Stupid superstition
  • Snap crackle pop
  • Eleven benevolent elephants
  • Two tried and true tridents
  • Black back bat
  • She sees cheese
  • Rolling red wagons
  • Good blood, bad blood
  • Pre-shrunk silk shirts
  • Truly rural
  • We surely shall see the sun shine soon
  • Ed had edited it.
  • Lesser leather never weathered wetter weather better
  • Which wristwatches are Swiss wristwatches?
  • Of all the vids I’ve ever viewed, I’ve never viewed a vid as valued as Alex’s engVid vid
  • A skunk sat on a stump and thunk the stump stunk, but the stump thunk the skunk stunk