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January 15, 2003 9:37 AM   Subscribe

"The world wide web was supposed to be pistachio". Say that three time fast, then visit the internet database of tongue twisters, shibboleths, and battologisms; over 2,000 frustrating, word-mangling, syntax-slaughtering entries in 90 languages, with translations. Also worth a look: the short list of devious one-liners.
posted by iconomy (21 comments total)

 
The pistachio line came out fine when I tried it. Do people really have trouble with that one?
posted by oissubke at 9:45 AM on January 15, 2003


"Toy boat", on the other hand, is unholy.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:47 AM on January 15, 2003


I knew it. I KNEW IT!!

Oh, it's a tongue twister.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 9:49 AM on January 15, 2003


Through three cheese trees three freezing fleas flew.
While freezing fleas flew, freezy breezes blew.

It disturbs me just a little that I can type that from memory. I'm afraid to go look it up to see if I missed anything.
posted by yhbc at 9:50 AM on January 15, 2003


Deceptively hard, particularly if you properly "brighten" the Ls by tapping them:

Peculiarly brilliant, Italian William.
posted by Skot at 9:53 AM on January 15, 2003


When I try the pistachio line, it comes out all sing-songy. Try singing it to the tune of that song that I only remember from elementary school as "Great Green Gobs of Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts."
(The world wide web was supposed to be pistachio / 'Sposed to be pistachio / 'Sposed to be pistachio / The world wide web was supposed to be pistachio / And me without a spoon)
posted by wanderingmind at 9:56 AM on January 15, 2003


I'm so sorry, Mr. Knox, sir.
posted by Darth Vader at 10:01 AM on January 15, 2003


I slit the sheet, the sheet I slit, and on the slitted sheet I sit....wow....I've never been relaxed enough around anyone to say that before.
posted by jacobsee at 10:04 AM on January 15, 2003


Wanderingmind, what memories that song brings back! It's a great tongue-twister if you say it instead of sing it, too.

Great green globs of greasy grimy gopher guts,
Mutilated monkey meat,
Petrefied porpose puss,
Great green globs of greasy grimy gopher guts,
And me without a spoon.

Great green globs of greasy grimy gopher guts,
Scab sandwich puss on top,
Monkey vomit, camel snot,
Great green globs of greasy grimy gopher guts,
And me without a spoon.

Great green globs of greasy grimy gopher guts,
Parrot eyeballs dipped in glue,
Scab sandwich just for you,
Great green globs of greasy grimy gopher guts,
And me without a spoon.

Great big gobs of greasy grimy gopher guts,
Mutilated monkey meat,
Toasted little birdie's feet,
French fried eyeballs swimming in a pool of blood,
And I forgot my spoon.

Great big gobs of greasy grimy golpher guts,
Hairy little piggies' feet,
Mutilated monkey's meat,
All cobbed off with ventilated vulture's puke,
And I forgot my spoon.

A classic! Also, another reason to go vegan ;) And then there's always Fuzzy Wuzzy, and Oooey Gooey...
posted by iconomy at 10:10 AM on January 15, 2003


I was born on a pirate ship.

Hee hee hee.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:20 AM on January 15, 2003


...tongue twisters, shibboleths, and battologisms...
People really have to start using the word "shibboleth" correctly. I'm too tired to explain the real meaning right now, but if anyone else would like to take a crack at it...
posted by Faze at 10:32 AM on January 15, 2003


Isn't the world's toughest tongue twister "The skunk rolled down the hill and ruptured its larynx"? Not the English translation, of course, but in its original language, N|u, the African clicking language?

Or did I dream that?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:37 AM on January 15, 2003


A shibboleth is a code-word that marks a person as being part of a group, right? Something that an outsider wouldn't know about (or be able to pronounce, which is where the word is derived from).
posted by wanderingmind at 10:37 AM on January 15, 2003


A home-grown favorite that has the virtues of being extremely short and deriving from a real-life item:

Blue Pool Goggles.
posted by soyjoy at 11:09 AM on January 15, 2003


my absolute favourite tongue twister as a child...

red lorry, yellow lorry

devastating.
posted by triv at 11:30 AM on January 15, 2003


What, no Perl twisters?

Incidentally, my current favorite is MC Paul Barman's: "My dandy voice makes the most anti-choice granny's panties moist." (Thanks, chemicalpilate!)
posted by skryche at 1:21 PM on January 15, 2003


I've been told that "Unique New York" five times quickly kills the brain. I've never been brave enough to attempt more than three...
posted by dilettanti at 2:34 PM on January 15, 2003


How many moose might a mini-mouse move
if a mini-mouse might move moose?


Reminds me of my childhood favorite, spotted in a Garfield strip:

How many boards would the Mongols hoard if the Mongol hordes got bored?

I bow in humble awe of your superior gopher-guts knowledge, iconomy. I learned the last line as "And I forgot my spoon/ ...But I remembered my straw. (Slurp!)"
posted by hippugeek at 12:44 AM on January 16, 2003


red lorry, yellow lorry

Even harder for me:
red leather, yellow leather
posted by Vidiot at 1:09 AM on January 16, 2003


"The sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick": I have trouble parsing the sentence visually, let alone saying it.
posted by monosyllabic at 2:34 AM on January 16, 2003


That song is the most disgusting thing I have ever heard, iconomy. I knew you were my kind of people :-)
I know it is not a tounge-twister, but it reminds me of the one that starts "never laugh as a coffin goes by ..."
posted by dg at 3:51 AM on January 16, 2003


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