T is for … Tongue-Twisters!

I promised to talk about Tongue-Twisters next and I will keep my word.

I found in the same book “The Works 8” by John Foster a category marked


John Foster defines it as such:

“A tongue-twister is a poem that is difficult to say properly without making a mistake, because it uses similar or repeated sounds.”

Here are a few examples: I dare you not to stumble!

A Twister of Twists

A Twister of twists once twisted a twist,

The twist that he twisted was a three-twisted twist;

If in twisting the twist, one twist should untwist,

The untwisted twist would untwist the twist.


Well Swum Swan

Swan swam over the sea,

Swim, swan, swim.

Swan swam back again,

Well swum swan.


There’s no need to light a night light

There’s no need to light a night light

on a light night like tonight;

For a night light’s a slight light

on a light night like tonight.


Wow, this Anon. guy is really good! Whahahaha!

A Flee and a Fly in a Flue

A flee and a fly in a flue

were caught, so what could they do?

Said the fly: “Let us flee.”

“Let us fly,” said the flea.

So they flew through a flaw in the flue.


Oh, but there is so much more to come!

Shaun Short’s Short Shorts

Shaun Short bought some shorts.

The shorts were shorter than Shaun Short thought.

Shaun Short’s short shorts were so short

Shaun Short thought, Shaun you ought,

not to have bought shorts so short.

(By yours truly – John Foster)


A Twister for Two Tongues

‘I can can-can.

Can you can-can?’

‘Yes, I can can-can, too.

In fact, I can can-can

very, very well.

I can can-can better than you.’

‘No, you can’t can-can

better than I can can-can

because I can can-can better!’

‘Bet you can’t!’

‘Bet I can!’

‘Bet you can’t!’

‘Bet I can! I can! I can can-can better!’

Cynthia Rider

Theophilus Thrapplethorn

Theophilus Thrapplethorn,

the celebrated thistle-sifter,

while sifting a sieve of unsifted thistles

thrust three thousand thistles

through the thick of his thumb.

If Theophilus Thrapplethorn

the successful thistle-sifter,

thrust three thousand thistles

through the thick of his thumb,

See that thou

when thou siftest a sieve of thistles

Dost not get the unsifted thistles

stuck in thy thumb!


I saw Esau

I saw Esau kissing Kate

Fact is we all three saw.

I saw Esau, he saw me,

and she saw I saw Esau.


And then I came with a saw and sawed them all in half! Tee-hee-hee!

Here’s another version:

i saw esau sawing

and esau saw I saw him

though esau saw him saw

still esau went on sawing

Pop Bottles Pop-bottles

Pop bottles pop-bottles

in pop shops;

The pop-bottles Pop bottles

poor Pop drops.

When Pop drops pop-bottles,

pop-bottles plop.

When pop-bottles topple,

Pop mops slop.


It’s hard to make people understand if they don’t see it with their own eyes.

Enough of poems! Here are some other Tongue-twisters I know.

Moses supposes his toses are roses

but Moses supposes ironiously.

But, Moses he knowses his toses aren’t roses

as Moses supposes his toses to be.

That, my friends, is featured in the best musical of all times – Singin’ in the Rain.

I also know one in Afrikaans that is actually a song:

Sannie sê Sannie sal sewe sakke sout sleep

sewe sakke sout sleep swaar sowaar.

Sannie sê Sannie sal sewe sakke sout sleep

sewe sakke sout sleep swaar sowaar!

You can dry up your drool now!

Do you know of some tongue-twisters and like to share?


About dada4nonsense

I am a 23 year old (at heart) who loves anything nonsensical

Posted on July 5, 2013, in Poems and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on T is for … Tongue-Twisters!.

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