You may have forgotten to mark the date on your calendar, but Historic City News wants to remind you that today is International Tongue Twister Day.
Our fascination with tongue twisters is as old as language itself. Many tongue-twisters use a combination of alliteration and rhyme. They have two or three sequences of sounds, then the same sequences of sounds with some sounds exchanged.
There are several International Tongue Twister Day contests in the United States that have turned into annual November events. Do you think you could win one? Here is your practice round.
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?
A quick witted cricket critic.
I saw Susie sitting in a shoe shine shop. Where she sits she shines, and where she shines she sits.
How many boards could the Mongols hoard if the Mongol hordes got bored?
How can a clam cram in a clean cream can?
The hardest tongue-twister in the English language according to Guinness World Records is “The sixth sick sheikh’s sixth sheep’s sick.” William Poundstone claims that the hardest English tongue twister is “The seething sea ceaseth and thus the seething sea sufficeth us.”
The children’s book “Fox in Socks” by Dr. Seuss consists almost entirely of densely rhyming tongue-twisters.
Some tongue-twisters are specifically designed to cause the inadvertent pronunciation of a swearword if the speaker stumbles verbally.
An example of this sort:
I’m not the pheasant plucker, I’m the pheasant plucker’s mate,
And I’m only plucking pheasants ’cause the pheasant plucker’s late.
I’m not the pheasant plucker, I’m the pheasant plucker’s son,
And I’m only plucking pheasants till the pheasant pluckers come.