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Tongue Twisters

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Written by   506
1 year ago

Tongue twisters were developed as practical tools to train speech, but many people like them because they are fun. The original creator of a tongue twister is normally unknown; except for the one by Espy below, I don't know who originally created these.

If you want, I'm sure you can find more tongue twisters on internet - in different languages. What follows here is just a small selection to illustrate the concept.

Most tongue twisters make use of alliteration, although they have nothing to do with poetry. However, I will first give brief explanation of alliteration, which - on a global level - is more common in poetry than rhyming.


Alliteration is based on the initial sound of words that are close to one another - it should be the same consonant. (Or different vowels, but vowel-alliteration is harder to see and we will not concern ourselves with that here. Where alliteration occurs below, it is based on consonants.) It is common in English poetry. Some examples:

Edmund Spenser:

"Faulty men use oftentimes

To attribute their folly unto fate."


John Dryden:

When sparkling lamps their sputtering lights advance."

(sparkling-sputtering; lamps-lights)

Sometimes it can be overdone, losing its poetic quality and become more of a tongue twister. Algernon Swinburne had this tendency.

"Welling water's winsome word,

wind in warm wan weather."

Examples of Tongue Twisters

What follows here is just a small selection to illustrate the concept. They can be used to train speech, especially if you have difficulties with certain letters/sounds or combinations of letters/sounds.

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

If you stick a stock of liquor in your locker,

It is slick to stick a lock upon your stock,

Or some joker who is slicker's going to trick you of your liquor,

If you fail to lock your liquor with a lock.

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.

The sixth sheik's sixth sheep's sick.

She sells sea shells by the sea shore.

Through three cheese trees three free fleas flew.
While these fleas flew, freezy breeze blew.
Freezy breeze made these three trees freeze.
Freezy trees made these trees’ cheese freeze.
That’s what made these three free fleas sneeze.

Here is a tongue twister attributed to William Espy:

If a three-month truce is a truce in truth,

Is the truth of a truce in truth a three-month truce?

Or this in French:

Étant sorti sans parapluie, il m'eût plus plu qu'il plût plus tôt.

If you know fun tongue twisters in any language, please add them in a comment below.

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Written by   506
1 year ago
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Here in my country, these tounge twisters are just said jokingly since english isn't the main language so I was never fond of these but it was still taught in our english classes

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1 year ago

Don't you have any tongue twisters in your local language?

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1 year ago

We also have but it's just as confusing. Like: Pitongpu't pitong puting tupa (seventy seven white sheeps) but then it's ised playfully in most cases here where tupa (sheep) becomes puta (b*tch) Then there's also: Minekaniko ni monico ang makina ni monica (monico fixed monica's machine) which could have a double meaning, still. Filipinos are pretty fond of sex jokes, honestly

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1 year ago

In my country we have this tongue twister, "three sad tigers eat wheat in a wheat field". In the translation, the connotation of the sound of words that are very similar is lost.

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1 year ago

Yes, of course, a tongue twister cannot be translated. How is it in original?

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1 year ago

In original there are 5 words with the letter t.

Three - t sad- t tigers- t wheat- t wheat field- t

"three sad tigers eat wheat in a wheat field"

" tres tristes tigres comen trigo en un trigal"

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1 year ago