Around the Web: Mandela’s Literary Legacy and Tongue Twisters


Did you know there is a “color of the year”? For 2014, it’s “radiant orchid.”

Nelson Mandela’s literary legacy from The Guardian.

The Acoustical Society of America announced the most difficult tongue twister in the English language: Pad kid poured curd pulled cod. More at The Week.

You will never believe what the launch code was for the US nuclear arsenal — for 20 years.

11 languages spoken by 11 people or fewer.

All twerked out? Time announces the word that readers would most like to banish in 2014.

How much does your worldview depend on the language you speak? The Economist explores.


  1. wolf tamer and tree puncher -  January 2, 2014 - 8:51 am

    Whoa, that’s really hard to say. I keep saying things like “two-toed three-toad” and “she-toed three-toad.” Aahh!

    The problem with commenting to other commenters’ comments is that they rarely see your comment or comment back. (If Angalyssa sees this, I bet there’ll be a battle to fit the most forms of “comment” in a sentence. Angalyssa, I dare you! ;) It’s happened before, with “secret.” And I beat Angalyssa with 14 secrets to her 11.)

  2. wolf tamer and tree puncher -  January 2, 2014 - 8:45 am

    Leather Buffalo, several times fast.

    @Math Pantus:
    Wow! Did you make that up, or did you hear it somewhere, or did you get it off the Internet?

    Can anyone here sing the entire Element Song by Tom Lehrer? I can. Fast, too.

    Minecrafters forever!

  3. Philip Mekeel -  December 19, 2013 - 10:22 am

    Sick sloths sip broth.

  4. Emily -  December 19, 2013 - 10:21 am

    Try saying “toy boat” as quickly as you can, over and over.

  5. Brett -  December 19, 2013 - 8:41 am

    Try saying sharks sock 10 times fast

  6. Mark -  December 19, 2013 - 7:00 am

    The US nuclear arsenal launch code: 1 2 3 4 5
    Amazing! That’s the same combination as my luggage!

    • Alec -  February 10, 2015 - 5:24 pm

      Nice SpaceBalls reference.

  7. Math Pantus -  December 19, 2013 - 5:22 am

    My riddle proposal:

    1) The witch watches her wristwatch switch

    adding whicked:
    2) The whicked witch watches her wristwatch switch

    3) Three witches watch their wristwatch switches

    4) Three whicked witches watch their wristwatch switches

    from Switzerland:
    5) Three whicked Swiss witches watch their wristwatch switches

    wristwatches from Switzerland too:
    6) Three whicked Swiss witches watch their Swiss wristwatch switches

    adding brand name:
    7) Three whicked Swiss witches watch their Swiss Swatch wristwatch switches

    (switched as in changed their gender:)
    8) Three switched whicked Swiss witches watch their Swiss Swatch wristwatch switched

    9) Three switched Swiss wicked witches whatch three Swiss Swatch wristWatch switches,
    Which switched Swiss wicked witch whatched which Swiss Swatch wristwatch switch?

  8. Sthi Bash -  December 19, 2013 - 1:21 am

    Rick Ross Rolls In a Rolls Royce

  9. deeparjun -  December 19, 2013 - 12:08 am

    everyone seems to be bringing up fab tongue twisters, but do try this as well :

    red bulb, blue bulb. :) really fast 2

  10. Anonymous -  December 18, 2013 - 8:36 pm

    “Soldiers Shoulders” three times really fast

  11. Person -  December 18, 2013 - 7:41 pm

    Try saying “Solder’s Sholders” ten times as fast as you can. :D

  12. Brian S. -  December 18, 2013 - 7:37 pm

    Here’s a tongue twister:
    A woman named Uma Mona Newman made for the millenium a minimum of a million mini luminescent aluminum cinnamon M&Ms.

  13. Jenny -  December 18, 2013 - 6:07 pm

    Fish sauce shop
    repeat 5x

  14. kitty -  December 18, 2013 - 5:51 pm

    I know

    Irish wrist watch

  15. JMM -  December 18, 2013 - 2:08 pm

    “You know you need unique New York”.

  16. martin -  December 18, 2013 - 1:51 pm

    can you imagine an imaginary menagerie manager imagining managing an imaginary menagerie?

  17. Maryann -  December 18, 2013 - 1:46 pm

    Try this:
    A skunk sat on a stump
    The stump thunk the skunk stunk
    And the skunk thunk the stump stunk

  18. Darth -  December 18, 2013 - 11:52 am

    A blue-backed, black bath brush…

  19. JOHN -  December 18, 2013 - 10:08 am

    and then there’s “unique New York”

  20. JOHN -  December 18, 2013 - 10:07 am

    how about “mixed biscuits” said five time?

  21. Jon Dunn -  December 18, 2013 - 8:36 am

    She stood on the balcony inexplicably mimicking him and welcoming him in.

  22. Squidkitteh -  December 18, 2013 - 6:16 am

    This one’s my favourite ever, I can’t believe no one has submitted it yet!

    A tree-toad loved a she-toad
    Who lived up in a tree.
    He was a two-toed tree-toad,
    But a three-toed toad was she.
    The two-toed tree-toad tried to win
    The three-toed she-toad’s heart,
    For the two-toed tree-toad loved the ground
    That the three-toed tree-toad trod.
    But the two-toed tree-toad tried in vain;
    He couldn’t please her whim.
    From her tree-toad bower,
    With her three-toed power,
    The she-toad vetoed him.

  23. Sylvie -  December 18, 2013 - 5:22 am


    How much wood could a woodchuck chuck,
    If a woodchuck could chuck wood,
    But if a woodchuck couldn’t chuck wood,
    Then a woodchuck wouldn’t chuck wood,
    But if a woodchuck could chuck wood,
    Than a woodchuck would chuck wood.

  24. Sylvie -  December 18, 2013 - 5:21 am

    How much wood could a woodchuck wood,
    If a woodchuck could chuck wood,
    But if a woodchuck couldn’t chuck wood,
    Then a woodchuck wouldn’t chuck wood,
    But if a woodchuck could chuck wood,
    Than a woodchuck would chuck wood.

  25. Kelsy Sky -  December 18, 2013 - 5:05 am

    Literary literally (3Xfast)

  26. midnight warrior -  December 18, 2013 - 4:42 am

    i dont know how to breed horses because i play on the xbox cause my puter broke.
    i cant think of any good tongue twisters right now.

  27. wolf tamer and tree puncher -  December 18, 2013 - 2:47 am

    Finally, somebody else who plays WolfQuest! Do you play Single Player or Multiplayer? And if you play Multiplayer, what pack are you in? I only play Single Player, since I don’t have a Multiplayer account. I just wish you could have puppies in Multiplayer. That would be a lot more fun.

  28. Dee -  December 18, 2013 - 2:20 am

    “The big black bug bled big black blood on the big black barn door.”
    Say it five times – FAST! :p

  29. hi -  December 17, 2013 - 6:34 pm

    Betty bought a bit of butter but the bit of butter was bitter, so Betty bought another bit of better butter to make the bitter butter better.

  30. kailey -  December 17, 2013 - 4:57 pm

    I play wolf quest

  31. lauren -  December 17, 2013 - 4:15 pm

    Betty Baker bought a bit of bitter butter, wheres the bit of bitter butter Betty Baker bought?

  32. Brenns -  December 17, 2013 - 3:14 pm

    Fuzzy wuzzy was a bear. Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair. Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t very fuzzy…was he?

  33. Fern (a different one) -  December 17, 2013 - 10:55 am

    To Echo – I love your weather one, but get the “whether” right.

  34. Jennifer -  December 17, 2013 - 10:04 am

    ho much wood cud a wood chopper chop if a wood chopper cud chop wood

  35. Echo -  December 17, 2013 - 8:55 am

    Wether the weather be fine or wether the weather be not
    wether the weather be cold or wether the weather be not
    we’ll wether the weather, whatever the weather, wether we like it or not.
    try saying that fast!

  36. wolf tamer and tree puncher -  December 17, 2013 - 4:56 am

    The 3 most difficult are:

    >Irish Wristwatch
    >The sixth sheik’s shrieking sheep’s sick.
    >Toy Boat (to a lesser extent)

    And if anybody knows how to breed horses in Minecraft, telling me in your comment would be really helpful. :) Does anyone here play WolfQuest?

  37. Abigail -  December 17, 2013 - 3:18 am

    A skunk sat on a stump
    The stump thunk the skunk stunk
    The skunk thought the stump stunk.

  38. Rose -  December 16, 2013 - 9:09 pm

    Three smart fellows, they felt smart.
    Repeat 10 times as fast as you can…

  39. freya -  December 16, 2013 - 6:54 pm

    What a to-do to die today at a minute or two til two; a thing distinctly hard to say but harder still to do. And the dragon will come at the sound of the drum with a rata-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-too, at a minute or two til two today, a minute or two til two.

    To sit in solemn silence on a dull, dark dock, in a pestilential prison with a lifelong lock, awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp shock from a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block.

    I am not the pleasant pheasant plucker, I am the pleasant pheasant plucker’s mate, and I’m only plucking pheasants cause the pleasant pheasant plucker’s late.

  40. Jford -  December 16, 2013 - 6:16 pm

    Shirt, skirt, socks
    Try to say it 5 times fast

  41. Anthony Kim -  December 16, 2013 - 4:49 pm

    betty bought a bit of butter but the butter was too bitter so betty bought some other butter to make the bitter butter better!

  42. krishay -  December 16, 2013 - 4:15 pm

    picky people pick peter pan peter piper its the peter piper picky people pick

  43. Krist -  December 16, 2013 - 3:35 pm

    Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

    Sally sold sea shells by the sea shore.

  44. xYourFreindx -  December 16, 2013 - 3:31 pm

    Y’all are wrong… It’s….
    Betty bought a box of butter, “OH” she said, “this butter’s bitter. If I use this bitter butter, it will make my batter bitter. I need a bit of better butter, just to make my batter better” Betty bought a bit of better butter, now Betty’s batter isn’t bitter!

  45. kailey -  December 16, 2013 - 3:29 pm

    is mine hard to say

  46. kailey -  December 16, 2013 - 3:28 pm

    is mine hard

  47. kailey -  December 16, 2013 - 3:27 pm

    lol (laugh out loud)

  48. kailey -  December 16, 2013 - 3:27 pm


  49. kailey -  December 16, 2013 - 2:43 pm

    I slit the sheet and the sheet slit me.

  50. Kat -  December 16, 2013 - 2:39 pm

    Sixth sick Sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick

  51. Alexandra -  December 16, 2013 - 2:07 pm

    Betty Botter, bought some butter,
    but she said this batters bitter,
    if she put it in her batter, it will make her batter bitter,
    so Betty Botter, bought more butter…a bit of better butter,
    and put it in her batter, and made her bitter batter, better.

  52. Sallie -  December 16, 2013 - 1:21 pm

    Toy boat isn’t hard to say at all. I have an indian one that is really hard, but this computer doesn’t speak hindi.

  53. dru -  December 16, 2013 - 1:08 pm

    how much fud could a fud pucker puck if a fud pucker could puck fud?try saying that fast

  54. Morvan -  December 16, 2013 - 8:51 am

    I do not know whether or not, she will leave me or live with me! Whether is she? What is now, the weather?
    I am to wither of asleep. I need eat some wheat. And – unfinal, which is the witch?

  55. Chloe -  December 16, 2013 - 6:45 am

    Peter Pipper picked a pec of pickled peppers. How many pickeled peppers did Peter Piper pick? A Pec!

    How mauch wood could a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?

    Sally sells seashells by the sea shore.

    THe hardest fro me would be
    red leather
    yellow leather


  56. wolf tamer and tree puncher -  December 16, 2013 - 3:12 am

    It’s not supposed to make sense. It’s just supposed to be hard to say. Although you’re right – it does sound strange. Whoever heard of a “pad kid”? :)

    The peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked is – in his stomach! :P

    I just tried saying “red leather yellow leather” 3 times fast. I messed up quickly. And I thought it was “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck would chuck wood?”

    Wow! I tried that. It is really hard. :)

    That one’s difficult too.

  57. dylan -  December 15, 2013 - 11:20 pm

    how much wood could a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood

    for me this is easy but . . .
    my friends cant

  58. Stefanie Wood -  December 15, 2013 - 6:57 pm

    Try saying Peggy Babcock 5 times fast. Good luck!

  59. Mick Wood -  December 15, 2013 - 5:42 pm

    Red leather, yellow leather…

  60. Emma -  December 15, 2013 - 5:38 pm

    Dearest creature in creation,
    Study English pronunciation.
    I will teach you in my verse
    Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
    I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
    Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
    Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
    So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.

    Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
    Dies and diet, lord and word,
    Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
    (Mind the latter, how it’s written.)
    Now I surely will not plague you
    With such words as plaque and ague.
    But be careful how you speak:
    Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
    Cloven, oven, how and low,
    Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

    Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
    Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
    Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
    Exiles, similes, and reviles;
    Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
    Solar, mica, war and far;
    One, anemone, Balmoral,
    Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
    Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
    Scene, Melpomene, mankind.

    Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
    Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
    Blood and flood are not like food,
    Nor is mould like should and would.
    Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
    Toward, to forward, to reward.
    And your pronunciation’s OK
    When you correctly say croquet,
    Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
    Friend and fiend, alive and live.

    Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
    And enamour rhyme with hammer.
    River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
    Doll and roll and some and home.
    Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
    Neither does devour with clangour.
    Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
    Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
    Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
    And then singer, ginger, linger,
    Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
    Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.

    Query does not rhyme with very,
    Nor does fury sound like bury.
    Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
    Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
    Though the differences seem little,
    We say actual but victual.
    Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
    Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
    Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
    Dull, bull, and George ate late.
    Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
    Science, conscience, scientific.

    Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
    Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
    We say hallowed, but allowed,
    People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
    Mark the differences, moreover,
    Between mover, cover, clover;
    Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
    Chalice, but police and lice;
    Camel, constable, unstable,
    Principle, disciple, label.

    Petal, panel, and canal,
    Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
    Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
    Senator, spectator, mayor.
    Tour, but our and succour, four.
    Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
    Sea, idea, Korea, area,
    Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
    Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
    Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

    Compare alien with Italian,
    Dandelion and battalion.
    Sally with ally, yea, ye,
    Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
    Say aver, but ever, fever,
    Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
    Heron, granary, canary.
    Crevice and device and aerie.

    Face, but preface, not efface.
    Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
    Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
    Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
    Ear, but earn and wear and tear
    Do not rhyme with here but ere.
    Seven is right, but so is even,
    Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
    Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
    Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.

    Pronunciation — think of Psyche!
    Is a paling stout and spikey?
    Won’t it make you lose your wits,
    Writing groats and saying grits?
    It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:
    Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
    Islington and Isle of Wight,
    Housewife, verdict and indict.

    Finally, which rhymes with enough –
    Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
    Hiccough has the sound of cup.
    My advice is to give up!

  61. RED ONE TO SAY FAST -  December 15, 2013 - 4:55 pm

    say that 5 times fast!

  62. Logan Jordan -  December 15, 2013 - 4:18 pm

    She sells sea shells by the seashore
    Red Leather Yellow Leather
    The sixth sheep shriek sick sheep sixth

  63. Tony Houghton -  December 15, 2013 - 3:52 pm

    The sixth sick sheik sixth sheep’s sick

  64. Samantha -  December 15, 2013 - 3:38 pm

    Irish wrist watch

  65. TJ -  December 15, 2013 - 12:48 pm

    I agree that Toy Boat is quickest to mess you up, but I thought this tongue warmer for speaking professionals worth sharing anyway.

    I am not the fig plucker, nor the fig plucker’s son, but I’ll pluck figs ’til the fig plucker comes.

    You might also try the one the Monkees shared: “Mr. Dobbolina Mr. Bob Dobbolina”

  66. too lazy to kneel -  December 15, 2013 - 12:17 pm

    Oh! No,I don’t eat fruits.
    I’m a hundred percent vegetarian.

  67. emily -  December 15, 2013 - 12:06 pm

    That’s a tongue twister alright. By the way, I’m 5.

  68. too lazy to kneel -  December 15, 2013 - 12:04 pm

    I think I need a new tongue

  69. emily -  December 15, 2013 - 11:59 am

    That’s a tongue twister alright!

  70. too lazy to kneel -  December 15, 2013 - 11:50 am

    I think I need a new tongue

  71. Anna -  December 15, 2013 - 10:09 am

    Irish wristwatch

    try saying it even once!

  72. Gabby Michael -  December 15, 2013 - 7:26 am

    It may sound like you did it, but nope! “twisty twizlers”

  73. Annette -  December 15, 2013 - 7:07 am

    The sixth sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick.

  74. adam -  December 15, 2013 - 7:00 am


  75. adam -  December 15, 2013 - 6:58 am

    what would a wood chuck if a wood chuck would chuck wood

  76. adam -  December 15, 2013 - 6:55 am

    red leather yellow leather fast

  77. Doll -  December 14, 2013 - 11:38 pm

    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 is the peck of Pickled Peppers Peter Piper picked.

  78. wolf tamer and tree puncher -  December 14, 2013 - 11:25 pm

    Yeah, “toy boat” is hard to say. “Rubber baby buggy bumpers” is difficult too. And have you ever tried saying “no ice” over and over, fast? Pretty soon you start saying “noise.” And you mess up “unique New York, New York unique” quickly too. I like tongue twisters.

    Does anyone know how to breed horses in Minecraft?

  79. Fay -  December 14, 2013 - 8:15 pm

    good blood, bad blood.

    also: betty botter bought some butter
    but she said, ‘the butter’s bitter
    ‘if i put it in my batter it will make my batter bitter
    better buy a bit o’ better butter’
    so betty botter bought some better butter
    made the batter better not bitter

  80. phraps -  December 14, 2013 - 2:11 pm

    “Pad kid poured curd pulled cod”?

  81. Fern -  December 14, 2013 - 12:11 pm

    I’m not a pheasant plucker, I’m a pheasant plucker’s son and I’ll keep on plucking pheasants till my pheasant plucking’s done.

  82. sarah -  December 14, 2013 - 8:06 am

    Betty Botter bought some butter but she said this butter;s bitter, if I bake this bitter butter inn my batter it will make my batter bitter, so went betty botter bought a new peice of butter, the utter was not bitter and it did not make her batter bitter, T’was was Betty Botter bought some butter

  83. Alfred Smith -  December 14, 2013 - 7:36 am

    the most difficult: Toy Boat. You mess it up very quickly.


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