Smart Tongue Twisters | Between the Lines by English Forward

English Forward
5 min readNov 13, 2020

A tongue twister is a phrase, sentence, or rhyme that presents difficulties when spoken as it contains similar sounds- Whistle for the thistle sifter, for example. To get the full effect of a tongue twister, you should try to repeat it several times as quickly as possible without stumbling or mispronouncing.

Tongue twisters have long been a popular form of wordplay, particularly for schoolchildren, but they also have a more serious side-they are used in elocution teaching and in the treatment of some speech defects.
The collection of funny tongue twisters presented here, however, is purely for entertainment, and consists of many old favorites as well as some new ones-try to tackle tricksy tongue twisters today!

Picky people pick Peter Pan Peanut Butter, ’tis the peanut butter picky people pick.
-from the Peter Pan Peanut Butter commercial

How many boards
Could the Mongols hoard
If the Mongol hordes got bored?
-from the comic ‘Calvin & Hobbes’

Seventy-seven benevolent elephants
-harder than it seems

Santa’s Short Suit Shrunk
-name of a children’s book

I was born on a pirate ship
-Hold your tongue while saying it

A big black bug bit a big black dog on his big black nose!
-by Kitty Morrow

Rudder valve reversals
-the cause of some plane crashes

Bobby Bippy bought a bat.
Bobby Bippy bought a ball.
With his bat Bob banged the ball,
Banged it bump against the wall,
But so boldly Bobby banged it
That he burst his rubber ball.
“Boo!” cried Bobby.
Bad luck ball,
Bad luck Bobby, bad luck ball.
Now to drown his many troubles
Bobby Bippy’s blowing bubbles.
-from mid-Willamette Valley theater

Caution: Wide Right Turns
-seen on semi-tractor trailers

Triple Dickle
-a strong drink

Chester Cheetah chews a chunk of cheap cheddar cheese.
-from a high school singing class

Double bubble gum, bubbles double.
-children’s tongue twister

East Fife Four, Forfar Five
-an actual football result from the Scottish third division

11 was a racehorse,
22 was 12,
1111 race,
-Wunwun was a racehorse, Tutu was one too. Wunwun won one race, Tutu won one too.

She stood on the balcony, inexplicably mimicking him hiccuping, and amicably welcoming him in.
-an actor’s vocal warm-up for lips and tongue

-pertaining to the Siberian people living in Kamchatka

Thirty-three thousand people think that Thursday is their thirtieth birthday.
-by Julia Dicum

As he gobbled the cakes on his plate,
the greedy ape said as he ate,
the greener green grapes are,
the keener keen apes are
to gobble green grape cakes,
they’re great!
-from Dr. Seuss’s O Say Can You Say?

But she as far surpasseth Sycorax,
As great’st does least.
-Caliban describing Miranda’s beauty in The Tempest, by William Shakespeare

Suzie, Suzie, working in a shoeshine shop.
All day long she sits and shines,
all day long she shines and sits,
and sits and shines, and shines and sits,
and sits and shines, and shines and sits.
Suzie, Suzie, working in a shoeshine shop.
Tommy, Tommy, toiling in a tailor’s shop.
All day long he fits and tucks,
all day long he tucks and fits,
and fits and tucks, and tucks and fits,
and fits and tucks, and tucks and fits.
Tommy, Tommy, toiling in a tailor’s shop.
-sung by Ian Mackintosh

Two to two to Tooting too!
-Announcement at Victoria Station, London

Extinct insects’ instincts, extant insects’ instincts.
-by Pierre Abbat

Elmer Arnold, Courtney Dworkin, Robert Wayne Rutter
-personal names

Mares eat oats and does eat oats, but little lambs eat ivy.
-from a pre-war English music-hall song

Moses supposes his toeses are roses,
but Moses supposes erroneously.
For Moses, he knowses his toeses aren’t roses,
as Moses supposes his toeses to be.
-Donald O’Connor and Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain
To put a pipe in byte mode, type PIPE_TYPE_BYTE.
-from the Visual C++ help file

I would if I could, and if I couldn’t, how could I?
You couldn’t, unless you could, could you?
-common school kids nonsense, circa 1910

The little red lorry went down Limuru Road.
-Limuru (Lee-moo-roo) road is in Kenya.

I wish to wish, I dream to dream, I try to try, and I live to live, and I’d die to die, and I cry to cry but I dont know why.
-from a song by Soundgarden

I bought a bit of baking powder and baked a batch of biscuits. I brought a big basket of biscuits back to the bakery and baked a basket of big biscuits. Then I took the big basket of biscuits and the basket of big biscuits and mixed the big biscuits with the basket of biscuits that was next to the big basket and put a bunch of biscuits from the basket into a biscuit mixer and brought the basket of biscuits and the box of mixed biscuits and the biscuit mixer to the bakery and opened a tin of sardines.
-Said to be a diction test for would-be radio announcers: to be read clearly, without mistakes, in less than 20 seconds

Hitchcock Hawk Watch Spots Record Raptors
-title of an article in the Neola Gazette

We need a plan to fan a pan; find a pan to fan, then find a fan to fan the pan, then fan the pan.
-Some Korean students find difficult the difference in pronunciation between ‘f’ and ‘p’.

Lady Luck dislikes losers.
-for Japanese students of English

You’re behaving like a babbling, bumbling band of baboons.
-from Harry Potter
In Hertford, Hereford and Hampshire hurricanes hardly ever happen.
-from My Fair Lady, the musical based upon George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion
Never trust
a sloppy crust,
a squally gust,
ships that rust,
or girls with lust.
But if you must,
you may trust
to go bust,
and back to dust,
which serves you just
-on board a Victory Ship in the 1940s

Shine my city shoes!
-repeat really fast

Free Ritz wristwatch.
Try saying Ritz wristwatch 5 times fast!
-from the back of a Ritz cracker box

Did you know: Singers, actors, TV and radio presenters use these as training tools. It helps develop certain accents, exercises lips, and limbers up tongues before performances.
Did you manage to say them all?

Written by English Forward

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