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40 of the Hardest Tongue Twisters in the English Language

How many of these hard tongue twisters can you say without stumbling?

Try these hard tongue twisters

Think you have a quick tongue? These tongue twisters will put your mouth to the test. Unlike brain teasers and hard riddles, tongue twisters aren’t really testing your mental acumen (though it can certainly be a mental exercise to figure out how to say them in the first place!). They’re simply testing your ability to say the words in order! And since they’re often packed with hard words to pronounce, that’s often way easier said than done. (And by “done,” we mean “said.”) See how many you can say before you start tripping over your words. If you need a brain boost before starting these tongue twisters, try these brain games that will test your smarts. And if you want to ease into these hard tongue twisters, try these tongue twisters for kids first.

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Pulled cod

“Pad kid poured curd pulled cod.”

A team of researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology say that this is the most difficult tongue twister in the world. Can you say it ten times fast? The psychologists who created this tongue twister said that people who attempted to say it either stopped right in the middle of saying it because it was too difficult or could only get through it once and weren’t able to repeat it. If you couldn’t get this one, give these other hard tongue twisters a try.

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

“A tutor who tooted the flute tried to teach two young tooters to toot. Said the two to the tutor, ‘Is it harder to toot, or to tutor two tooters to toot?'”

Poetry aficionados, did you notice that this tongue twister is also a limerick?

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Brave brigadiers

“Brisk brave brigadiers brandished broad bright blades, blunderbusses, and bludgeons—balancing them badly.”

This tongue twister is a lot longer, so it’s not much easier. You’ll really have to learn to balance your tongue on your teeth correctly to get this one. Here are some of the hardest words to spell in the English language.

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Mad cow

“If you must cross a coarse, cross cow across a crowded cow crossing, cross the cross, coarse cow across the crowded cow crossing carefully.”

You probably don’t want to stand in the way of a coarse, cross cow. But if you try to teach him this tongue twister, he may get distracted from his anger and not hurt you.

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Butter for Betty

“Betty bought a bit of butter. But the butter Betty bought was bitter. So Betty bought a better butter, and it was better than the butter Betty bought before.”

The idea of bitter butter might put a bad taste in your mouth…if these difficult tongue twisters aren’t already doing that! Check out 37 of the best riddles for teens.

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Clam in a can

“How can a clam cram in a clean cream can?”

Trying to get a clam into a can may be easier than saying this tongue twister ten times fast. Check out the toughest winning words from the National Spelling Bee.

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Imaginary menagerie

“Imagine an imaginary menagerie manager managing an imaginary menagerie.”

We’d be happy to imagine an imaginary menagerie because keeping animals in captivity isn’t very nice. Did you know that the most complicated word in the English language is only three letters long?

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Unique New York

“I like New York, unique New York, I like unique New York.”

We’re in a New York state of…confusion.

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Toast for saints

“Send toast to ten tense stout saints’ ten tall tents.”

If these saints are tense and stout, you’re going to want to send a lot of toast. Check out these 50 best examples of hyperbole.

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Warriors at the brewery

“Rory the warrior and Roger the worrier were reared wrongly in a rural brewery.”

After being at the brewery, Rory and Roger probably wouldn’t be able to say this tongue twister. Here are some funny words you probably never knew about.

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Scissors and thistles

“Scissors sizzle, thistles sizzle.”

Handle with care. Did you know that “sizzle” is an example of onomatopoeia?

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Sick hicks

“Six sick hicks nick six slick bricks with picks and sticks.”

Get your “s” and “k” sounds ready—this one is really tricky. This tongue twisters might make you sound a little silly, but redeem yourself by using these words that make you sound smart.

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Wish of wishes

“I wish to wish the wish you wish to wish, but if you wish the wish the witch wishes, I won’t wish the wish you wish to wish.”

There are a lot of wishes going on here, which makes this a hard tongue twister to tackle!

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Seashells by the seashore

“She sells seashells by the seashore.”

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! This tongue twister is a classic.

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Throne thieves

“The 33 thieves thought that they thrilled the throne throughout Thursday.”

This sentence makes a little more sense than the last one. But can you say it really fast? Try out these word puzzles that will leave you stumped.

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Annoyed oyster

“Any noise annoys an oyster but a noisy noise annoys an oyster more.”

We wonder if oysters would be annoyed by incessant repetition of these hard tongue twisters.

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Sick sheep

“The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick.”

Is your tongue tired yet? If you want to give your mouth a rest from hard tongue twisters, try exercising your eyes to spot the difference in these pictures.

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Silly Sally’s sheep

“Silly Sally swiftly shooed seven silly sheep. The seven silly sheep Silly Sally shooed shilly-shallied south. These sheep shouldn’t sleep in a shack; sheep should sleep in a shed.”

Another tongue twister about sheep? Sure!

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Swiss wrist watches

“Which wrist watches are Swiss wrist watches?”

Unless you’re a watch aficionado, saying this tongue twister might be easier than determining that. These “what am I?” riddles might be a bit easier (but they’re still tricky!).

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Canned can

“Can you can a canned can into an un-canned can like a canner can can a canned can into an un-canned can?”

Wasn’t cramming a clam into a can hard enough?

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Hungry bros

“Fred fed Ted bread and Ted fed Fred bread.”

Bread for everyone! Hopefully no one’s trying to say these hard tongue twisters with their mouth full of bread.

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Thundering horses

“Thirty-three thirsty, thundering thoroughbreds thumped Mr. Thurber on Thursday.”

Just be glad that you only have to say this tongue twister ten times fast and that you’re not Mr. Thurber. Looking for a break from these hard tongue twisters? Try solving these short riddles that’ll still stump you.

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Are you kidding, English?!

“English can be understood through tough thorough thought, though.”

Why. Just why. This makes us want to unpack some of the most confusing grammar rules.

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Solemn silence indeed

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

This hard tongue twister doubles as a funny poem! (Albeit one with rather heavy subject matter!)

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Slit sheet

“I slit the sheet, the sheet I slit, and on the slitted sheet I sit.”

You’ll probably need to take a nap on the slitted sheet after learning how to say this hard tongue twister out loud.

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Red and yellow

“Red lorry, yellow lorry.”

This tongue twister is short, but it’s still challenging. Can you get it on the first try? If you’re looking for a different kind of challenge, check out these word search puzzles that you can print for free.

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Cinnamon synonym

“A synonym for cinnamon is a cinnamon synonym.”

Could you find a synonym for cinnamon in a cinnamon thesaurus?

Tongue twister 18Emma Kumer/

Thousands of feathers

“Thirty-three thousand feathers on a thrush’s throat.”

You might be wondering what thirty-three thousand feathers would look like while trying to say this hard tongue twister.

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

The greedy ape

“As he gobbled the cakes on his plate, the greedy ape said as he ate: The greener green grapes are, the keener keen apes are to gobble green grape cakes. They’re great!”

Another limerick! Check out these clever limericks for kids.

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Rough rock

“Round the rough and rugged rock the ragged rascal rudely ran.”

Rascals can be rude, but trying to memorize this tongue twister can be a rough and rugged process.

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Loyal warrior

“A loyal warrior will rarely worry why we rule.”

Hard tongue twister, or deep observation? Plus, see if you can guess if these funny words are real or fake.

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Sheena and Sheila

“Sheena leads, Sheila needs.”

What does Sheila need? We suppose that’s her business.

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Free throws

“He threw three free throws.”

Not many of these hard tongue twisters make sense as real-world sentences, but this one does!

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Timid toads

“Two tiny timid toads trying to trot to Tarrytown.”

Hopefully, these timid toads don’t have too long of a journey to Tarrytown. Can you solve these animal riddles?

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Stinky skunk

“A skunk sat on a stump and thunk the stump stunk, but the stump thunk the skunk stunk.”

Maybe you can hold your nose while saying this tongue twister to set the mood.

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Iguanas and instruments

“Ingenious iguanas improvising an intricate impromptu on impossibly-impractical instruments.”

You might need to ask these ingenious iguanas how to master this hard tongue twister.

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Southward swans

“Six sleek swans swam swiftly southwards.”

Once you get the hang of this one, you can say it a few times in a row without stumbling.

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Denise and the fleas

“Denise sees the fleece, Denise sees the fleas. At least Denise could sneeze and feed and freeze the fleas.”

Good for Denise.

Tongue TwisterEmma Kumer/

Coffee for papa

“Give papa a cup of proper coffee in a copper coffee cup.”

Take a break from hard tongue twisters to laugh at some coffee puns!

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Eddie’s Easter eggs

“Each Easter Eddie eats eighty Easter eggs.”

Who says vowels can’t hold their own in hard tongue twisters?

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A meta tongue twister

“These thousand tricky tongue twisters trip thrillingly off the tongue.”

Just be glad there aren’t a thousand in this list of tongue twisters! Next, see if you can find the hidden objects in these tricky pictures.

Morgan Cutolo
Morgan is the Senior Production Editor at Trusted Media Brands. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. She works with our Production Coordinators to keep content moving and make sure that things are working well behind the scenes for all our digital sites. In her free time, she likes exploring the seacoast of Maine where she lives and works remotely full time and snuggling up on the couch with her corgi, Eggo, to watch HGTV or The Office.