LINGUIST List 2.292

Friday, 14 June 1991

Disc: Last Posting on Tongue Twisters

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. , Re: More Tongue Twisters
  2. "ELISE EMERSON MORSE-GAGNE", Stahlke's pig-- er, fig-pluckers
  3. , Kannada tongue twisters
  4. , Tongue twister

Message 1: Re: More Tongue Twisters

Date: Mon, 10 Jun 91 20:27:51 PDT
From: <>
Subject: Re: More Tongue Twisters
At the risk of multiplying trivia beyond necessity, let me contribute 
my list of German tongue-twisters. I do not guarantee that the versions 
given here are the most usual ones, or even that all of them are equally 
known in German-speaking countries. Some of them in 
fact might not truly be considered real tongue-tiwsters. 
However, perhaps they'll give a bit of amusement to a 
few colleagues. My favorite is the one with "der dicke 
Diener" (that one I can do); my wife's is "Brautkleid" 
(that one she can do and I simply can't!). 

With that, I end my contribution to tongue-twister mania. 

In Ulm und um Ulm und um Ulm herum. 
'In Ulm and around Ulm and all around Ulm.' 

Neun Naehnadeln naehen neun Nachtmuetzen. 
'Nine sewing needles sewed nine night caps.' 

Tausend tapfere Tuerken trotzten tapfer den Templern. 
'(A) thousand brave Turks bravely defied the templars.' 

Thomas trank tausend Tropfen; tausend Tropfen trank Thomas. 
'Thomas drank (a) thousand drops; a thousand drops drank Thomas.' 

Der Potsdamer Postkutscher putzt den Potsdamer Postkutschwagen. 
'The Potsdamer post coachman washes the Potsdam post coach.' 

Der Kottbusser Postkutscher putzt den Kottbusser Postkutschwagen. 
'The Kottbus post coachman washes the Kottbus post coach.' 

Roland der Riese vorm Rathaus zu Bremen. 
'Roland the Giant before the city hall in Bremen.' 

Dreihundertdreiunddreissig Rotten reitender Ritter rasten rufend 
dreihundertdreiunddreissig mal ums riesige rote Rathaus. 
'333 troops of riding knights hurried calling 333 times 
around the giant red city hall.' 

Hans hoert hinterm Holzhaufen hundert heisere Hasen husten. 
'Hans hears behind the wood pile (one) hundred hoarse hares coughing.' 

Ein Student mit Stulpenstiefeln stolperte am Stein und starb. 
'A student mit top-boots tripped on a stone and died.' 

Messwechsel und Wachsmaske; Wachsmaske und Messwechsel. 
'Mass change and wax mask; wax mask and mass change.' 

Brautkleid bleibt Brautkleid, und Blaukraut bleibt Blaukraut. 
'Bride's dress remains bride's dress, and blue (= red!) 
cabbage remains blue cabbage.' 

Gleich bei Blaubeuren liegt ein Kloetzchen Blei, 
ein Kloetzchen Blei liegt gleich bei Blaubeuren. 
'Right by Blaubeueren lies a clump of lead, 
a clump of lead lies right by Blaubeuren.' 

Die Katze tritt die Treppe krumm. 
'The cat kicks the stairs crooked.' 

In der Fruehe faengt Fischers Fritze frische Fische; 
Fischers Fritze faengt in der Fruehe frische Fische. 
'In the morning Fischer's Fritz catches fresh fish; 
Fischer's Fritz catches fresh fish in the morning,' 

Zwischen zweiundzwanzig schwankenden Zwetschgenzweigen 
schweben zweiundzwanzig schwarze, zwitschernde Schwalben. 
'Between 22 waving plum branches float 22 black, chirping swallows.' 

Bernhard Brunos, buergerlichen Brauhausbesitzers bei Braunau, 
beruehmte bayrische Bierhymne beginnt: Biedere brave 
Bierbrauerburschen bereiten bestaendig bitteres, 
braunes bayrisches Bier. 
'Bernhard Bruno, burgeois brewery owner in Braunau's 
famous Bavarian beer hymn begins: honest good brewery 
fellows continually make bitter, brown Bavarian beer.' 

Der duenne Diener traegt die dicke Dame durch den dicken Dreck. 
Da dankt die dicke Dame dem duennen Diener, dass der duenne Diener 
die dicke Dame durch den dicken Dreck getragen hat. 
'The thin servant carries the fat lady through the thick mud. 
Then the fat lady thanks the thin servant that the thin servant 
carried the fat lady through the thick mud.' 

Wir Wiener Waschweiber wuerden wohl weisse Waesche 
waschen, wenn wir wuessten, wo weiches, warmes 
Wasser waer. 
'We Viennese washing women would wash white wash, 
if we knew where soft warm water was.' 

Drei Teertonnen, drei Trantonnen; drei Trantonnen, drei Teertonnen. 
3 tar barrels (tons), 3 blubber barrels (tons); 
3 tar barrels (tons), 3 blubber barrels (tons). 

Mariechen sagte zu Mariechen: "Mariechen, lass Mariechen 
mal riechen!" Da liess Mariechen Mariechen mal riechen. 
'Little Mary said to Little Mary: "Little Mary, 
let Little Mary take a smell." 
Then Little Mary let Little Mary take a smell.' 

tom shannon, uc berkeley 
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Message 2: Stahlke's pig-- er, fig-pluckers

Date: 11 Jun 91 13:04:00 EST
From: "ELISE EMERSON MORSE-GAGNE" <morsegag%ucs.indiana.eduRICEVM1.RICE.EDU>
Subject: Stahlke's pig-- er, fig-pluckers
I used to play a game with my cousins which went as follows. There are 
two players; the first instructs the second to say "shistl" (the t is 
pronounced) whenever the first person says "pit", and "pit" whenever she 
says "shistl", responding as fast as possible each time. The the first 
player (sorry, that's "then the") sneaks the word "pistol" into the 
sequence, and no matter how on guard the second player is, they can't 
help coming out with "shit." This goes over very well among 8-10 year 
olds. I have never ceased to be amazed at the inevitability of the 
swear-word once the stimulus is introduced. 
Elise Morse-Gagne 
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Message 3: Kannada tongue twisters

Date: Wed, 12 Jun 1991 14:39 EDT
Subject: Kannada tongue twisters
Here is a Kannada tongue twister: 

ondu tarikere kere e:ri mele ondu kari kurimari me:yuttittu. 

On the bank of the Tarikere tank, a black ewe was grazing! 

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Message 4: Tongue twister

Date: Wed, 12 Jun 91 17:41 EST
Subject: Tongue twister
Herb Stahlke asked for tongue twisters similar to "Fig pluckers." I 
remember playing a word game as an undergraduate called "Ducky Fuzz 
." The object of the game was to say "Ducky Fuzz Fuzzy Duck Ducky 
Fuzz" without making a mistake. Not really a tongue twister, but the 
mispronounced results were quite meaningful. 
 JoEllen M. Simpson 
 University of Florida 

[End Linguist List, Vol. 2, No. 292]
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