The Greatest Tongue-Twisters of All Time

The Greatest Tongue-Twisters of All Time

Last update: 02 July, 2018

Tongue-twisters are a classic childhood game and are popular in cultures around the world. They are compositions with a poetic style, based on the repetition of syllables that are difficult to pronounce.

Children learn them in their homes, at school, or while playing with their friends. The faster one can pronounce them, the more fun the activity becomes.

Benefits of learning tongue-twisters

In general, children learn tongue-twisters in a natural and spontaneous way. When little ones takes on the challenge of reciting a tongue-twister, they receive several benefits in regards to their development:

  • Stimulation of the imagination. Children do everything possible to understand the phrase in order to repeat it better. In doing so, they use their imagination to associate certain words with the concepts they’re trying to memorize.
  • Linguistic comprehension. Games involving words stimulate the  language production, word comprehension and the use of unconventional combinations.
  • Tongue-twisters are a sort of therapy. When a child has a problem with pronunciation, tongue-twisters can work as practical exercises to improve diction and the articulation of sounds.
  • Memory stimulation. Children develop the habit of memorizing complex complete sentences, even without understanding their meaning.
  • Improved reading out loud. Tongue-twisters contribute to the fluidity with which children read out loud or in public.
  • Tongue-twisters are fun! Every time somebody makes a mistake, everyone will burst out laughing.

The greatest tongue-twisters of all time

Bug and bear

Black bug bit a big black bear.

But where is the big black bear

that the big black bug bit?

The skunk

A skunk sat on a stump.

The stump thunk the skunk stunk.

The skunk thunk the stump stunk.

Fuzzy Wuzzy

Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear,

Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair,

FuzzyWuzzy wasn’t very fuzzy… was he???

The Greatest Tongue-Twisters of All Time

Two witches

If two witches were watching two watches:

which witch would watch which watch?

The sailor

A sailor went to sea

To see what he could see.

And all he could see

Was sea, sea, sea.

The tutor toots a flute

A tutor who tooted a flute

Tried to tutor two tooters to toot.

Said the two to their tutor,

“Is it harder to toot or

To tutor two tooters to toot?

Frogs and fishes

Five frantic frogs

fled from fifty fierce fishes

A bug and a beetle

A big bug bit the little beetle

But the little beetle bit the big bug back

The woodchuck

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.

Tongue-twisters with a higher level of difficulty

Older children may think tongue-twisters are just for little kids. If that’s the case, up the ante with some of these more complex tongue-twisters. We’re sure your older child will be up for the challenge.

Betty and her butter

Betty Boughter bought some butter

But she said the butter’s bitter

If I put it in my batter

It will make my batter bitter

But a bit of better butter will make it better than the bitter butter

So she bought a bit of better butter

And put it in her batter

And her batter was not bitter

So t’was Betty Boughter bought a bit if better butter and put it in her

batter and her batter was not bitter.


The Greatest Tongue-Twisters of All Time

Fleas and cheese

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.

Bobby Bippy

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.

Two toads

A tree toad loved a she-toad,

Who lived up in a tree.

He was a three-toed tree toad,

But a two-toed toad was she.

The three-toed tree toad tried to win,

The two-toed she-toad’s heart,

For the three-toed tree toad loved the ground,

That the two-toed tree toad trod.

But the three-toed tree toad tried in vain.

He couldn’t please her whim.

From her tree toad bower,

With her two-toed power,

The she-toad vetoed him.

The Greatest Tongue-Twisters of All Time

Cow crossing

If you must cross a course cross

Across a crowded cow crossing,

Cross the cross coarse cow

Across the crowded cow crossing carefully

Tricks for helping children memorize tongue-twisters

Tongue-twisters are made of numerous similar phonemes aimed at making pronunciation more complex and fun at the same time. 

They give children the opportunity to laugh and have a great time challenging one another. Here are a few tricks for making tongue-twister reciting easier:

  • Repeat then slowly. Children should first learn to repeat the tongue-twister slowly before gradually picking up speed.
  • Understand the phrases. Understanding the meanings of the phrases can help make reciting easier.

Remember, practice makes perfect. The more your child repeats a tongue-twister, the easier it will get!

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.