Thursday, August 27, 2020

Some Tongue-Twisters

A tongue-twister is a phrase that is designed to be difficult to articulate properly, and can be used as a type of spoken (or sung) word game. Some tongue-twisters produce results that are humorous (or humorously vulgar) when they are mispronounced, while others simply rely on the confusion and mistakes of the speaker for their amusement value. 

- Wikipedia 

Tongue Twisters- letters of the alphabet- poems by CreativeKidsDC

Tongue-Twisters have been around for hundreds of years,  They were especially popular in the 19th century, although the term was only coined in 1895. 

Everyone knows “She sells sea shells by the sea shore” but few know that it was originally published in 1850 as a diction exercise. 

Likewise the tongue-twister that is regarded as the most famous: 

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? 

Not many know that the earliest version of this tongue twister was published in Peter Piper's Practical Principles of Plain and Perfect Pronunciation by John Harris (1756–1846) in London in 1813, which includes a one name tongue-twister for each letter of the alphabet in the same style. However, the rhyme was apparently known at least a generation earlier. 

I have previously quoted, in respect of limericks, an accurate observation by an anonymous poet:

The limerick packs laughs anatomical 
Into space that is quite economical. 
But the good ones I've seen 
So seldom are clean 
And the clean ones so seldom are comical. 

Likewise with tongue-twisters. 

Some of us at the office were messing about with tongue-twisters last week, the aim of course being not to get it wrong and speak the vulgarity. You will hear worse in films, listening to standup comics on Youtube and hearing young people speak to each other these days. But they’re fun (the tongue-twisters, I mean). 

Here are some for you to attempt with work colleagues, at the family dinner table or when visiting the in-laws . . . 

(By the way, the Pheasant Plucker and his son will be the subject of a “From the Vault” post at a future date, so don’t let me know that I missed it.) 


I saw Susie sitting in a shoe shine shop. 
Where she sits she shines, and where she shines she sits. 


One smart fellow; he felt smart. 
Two smart fellows; they felt smart. 
Three smart fellows; they all felt smart. 


Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers. 


I slit the sheet, the sheet I slit, and on the slitted sheet I sit. 


Mrs Puggy Wuggy has a square cut punt. 
Not a punt cut square, 
Just a square cut punt. 
It’s round in the stern and blunt in the front. 
Mrs Puggy Wuggy has a square cut punt.


Stay safe.

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