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Tongue Twister Day

It’s International Tongue Twister Day! From Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers to She sells seashells by the seashore, how many tongue twisters can you think of to celebrate this tongue-twisting holiday?

Tongue Twister Day encourages people to give their tongues and patience a little bit of a workout. It’s also a fun day to challenge your friends to a tongue twister fight. The question is, how many tongue twisters can you pull off during this tongue-twisting holiday?

The History

Tongue twisters have fascinated people throughout history. One of the first things that come to mind is Peter Piper, and it turns out that he is actually based on a real person. Peter Piper also known as Pierre Poivre in real life was renowned for his taste in delicious spices and became immortalized as a result.

Pierre Poivre was a French pirate and horticulturist during the mid-1700s. Notorious from stealing spice nuts ”peppers” from the Dutch trade ships and planting them on his garden. On at least one occasion he stole half a bushel of nutmegs, which inspired the tongue twister “Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers” that we now know and love today.

In other versions of Peter Piper’s tale, he was depicted as someone with a gruesome history. The story goes like this — in 1284, the townspeople of Hamelin hired a rat catcher to lure away the vermin that had overrun their village. When the townspeople saw how easily the piper had rid the town of rats, they regretted the amount that they had offered him and reneged on their deal. The piper vowed revenge, and later returned and once more walked through the town playing his pipe. This time, all the town’s children— all 130 of them, followed him out through the town’s east gate and up to the nearby mountain which, in most accounts, opened wide to swallow them up and they disappeared, never to be seen again. Creepy, right?

Now, let’s get back to tongue twisters, if you think that “Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers” is already hard, wait until you know what tongue twister is the most difficult. In the English language, and according to the Guinness Book of World Records, “The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick” is the most difficult tongue twister ever made. One try will surely turn your tongue into knots and will probably give you a headache.

How do we celebrate it?

To celebrate International Tongue Twister Day which is always on the 2nd Sunday of November, read a rhyming book or practice and recite some of your favorite tongue twisters with your friends and family!

To be sure that you’ll get it right, try holding a competition with your friends and family with who recites the tongue twister faster and better, or hold a competition at work to come up with new tongue twisters. Feeling truly ambitious? Try writing one, and spend the day practicing, reciting, and sharing it with everyone.