What is a Tongue Twister?
A tongue twister is a phrase that becomes hard to pronounce in a close sequence. They usually have the same sounding consonants. These phrases are structured to force mispronunciation and confusion. Still, this purposeful manipulation makes tongue twisters in English great for teaching proper pronunciation.
A tongue twister is a great way to improve pronunciation and fluency. They’re not just for children but are also used by public speakers who want to sound clear when speaking. It also enhances accents by using alliteration for homophones.
Unlike brain teasers and tricky riddles, tongue twisters aren’t testing your mental acumen but simply testing your ability to say the words in order! And since they’re often packed with hard words to pronounce, that’s often easier said than done.
What Are the Benefits of Tongue Twisters?
- Tongue twister helps to clarify the pronunciation of words.
- It stretches and strengthens the muscles with which we speak.
- Twisters show us what words and sounds we have trouble pronouncing.
- Tongue twisters intensity and improve our speaking ability.
Below, you will find some of the funny tongue twisters. Let’s see how many of these hard tongue twisters you can say without stumbling.
The sixth sick sheik
“The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick.”
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, it is one of the world’s most challenging and tricky tongue twisters. The psychologists who created this tongue twister claim people stopped in the middle because it was too difficult to complete or could only get through once and couldn’t repeat it. If you couldn’t get this one, give these hard tongue twisters a try.
“She sells sea shells by the seashore.”
She sells sea shells by the seashore.
The shells she sells are sea shells, I’m sure.
For if she sells sea shells by the seashore
Then I’m sure she sells seashore shells.
This tongue twister became a popular song in 1908, with words by British songwriter Terry Sullivan and music by Harry Gifford. According to popular folklore, it was said to be inspired by the life and work of Mary Anning, an early fossil collector.
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?
Peter and his very famous pickled peppers were first recognized when printed in 1813 in John Harris’s Peter Piper’s Practical Principles of Plain and Perfect Pronunciation.
She Sells Seashells
She sells seashells on the sea shore. The shells she sells are seashells, I’m sure. And if she sells seashells on the sea shore, Then I’m sure she sells seashore shells.
The story behind “She Sells Seashells” is fascinating. This rhyme is a tribute to 19th-century English palaeontologist Mary Anning.
Anning was an impressive fossil hunter who was responsible for scientific achievements like discovering the first articulated plesiosaur or being among the first to identify fossilized poop.
Tongue twisters are a fun way to work on phonics to get the pronunciation right. You can start by saying these tongue twisters slowly, then try to speed up. Once you can tell a tongue twister through, try to say it twice or three times in a row to improve linguistic ability in kids.