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Of Fetes and Tongue Twisters

My Poetry Stall

My Poetry Stall

I’ve just spent another lovely Saturday afternoon in Arlington Square Gardens, where I’d been invited back to do something poetic at the annual Summer fete. And what we mostly did was tongue twisters. Let’s be fair, the poet is not as popular as the hog roast, but I was pleased to gather some posses of young acolytes during the afternoon. It is true that I had the lure of free Haribos for everyone who tried a tongue twister, but it was great to find that kids came back time and again to get words as well as sweets in their mouths. A very large part of poetry lives in the mouth. That’s what the slightly pretentious strapline at the top of this website means!

Several people asked if they could have the A-Z list of tongue twisters, so here they are. (These are all clean ones though what everybody likes the best are the ones that make you say ‘fart’ …or a bit worse)

Ampersands are handy but ‘and’ will do for Andy.

Betty Botter bought some butter, “But,” she said, “this butter’s bitter. If I bake this bitter butter, It will make my batter bitter. But a bit of better butter, that would make my batter better.” So she bought a bit of butter, better than her bitter butter and she baked it in her batter, and the batter was not bitter. So ’twas better Betty Botter bought a bit of better butter.

Chop shops stock chops.

Don’t pamper damp scamps that camp under damp lamps.

Ed had edited it.

Five fat thrushes flee through the thick fog.

Greek grapes

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.

I saw Esau sitting on a see-saw I saw Esau kissing Kate.
I saw Esau, he saw me, and she saw I saw what Esau saw.

Joe wants to know if your Joe will lend our Joe your Joe’s banjo. If your Joe won’t lend our Joe your Joe’s banjo our Joe won’t lend your Joe our Joe’s banjo when our Joe has a banjo!

Knapsack straps.

Lesser leather never weathered wetter weather better.

Many an anemone sees an enemy anemone.

Nine nice night nurses nursing nicely nightly.

One-One was a racehorse; Two-Two was one, too.
When One-One won one race, Two-Two won one, too.

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
Did Peter Piper pick a peck of pickled peppers?
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

Quick kiss. Quicker kiss.

Red lorry, yellow lorry.

She sells seashells on the seashore.
The shells she sells are seashells, I’m sure.

The tutor who tooted the flute
Tried to tutor two tooters to toot.
Said the two to the tutor:
“Is it harder to toot or
To tutor two tooters to toot?”

Unique New York.

Vincent vowed vengence very vehemently.

Which witch wished which wicked wish?

X-ray specs inspected the wrecks.

Youthful fool, yo-yoing at yule
Don’t you know there’s a no yo-yoing rule?

Zig-zagging zebras are a zoo hazzard