9 of the hardest tongue twisters in the English language

Published on November 15, 2023

Credit: Caroline Hernandez

Since time immemorial, tongue twisters have been a favorite children’s game . After all, what’s cheaper and easier than to keep kids entertained with just a few funny words that are meant to be repeated again and again?

Here we select some of the objectively hardest tongue twisters that the English language can produce. Enjoy!


Pad kid poured curd pulled cod


According to a team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, this is the hardest English tongue twister in the world . The researchers who created this funny piece of unspeakable nonsense - sadistic monsters, most likely - reported that most people who tried this tongue twister found it almost impossible to repeat.


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

Credit: Chris Chow

Quite a funny and bellicose scene. Not an easy one either, and since it’s longer than most tongue twisters here it will probably require extra time to memorize it correctly.


How can a clam cram in a clean cream can?

Credit: Karthick Krishnakumar

How, indeed. I have to say, this one seems easy on paper, but saying it more than three times fast is a real challenge.


Imagine an imaginary menagerie manager managing an imaginary menagerie.

Credit: J. Balla Photography

If you were left wondering what in the world a menagerie is, it turns out it’s a French word that means a ‘collection of captive animals kept for display’. Essentially a precursor of the modern zoo.


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

Credit: Brendan Church

As a friend of mine pointed out after hearing this one, good luck saying this twice after having a few drinks at the brewery.


Six sick hicks nick six slick bricks with picks and sticks

Credit: Pete Willis

Talk like a sick slick snake with this nitpicky little skit. Well, I’m officially ruined, I can only think in tongue-twisty fashion now.


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

Credit: Taylor Sondgeroth

In phonetics - the branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and replicate sounds - the sound so familiar to the English language is what’s called a ‘dental fricative’. If this doesn’t sound terrifying enough by itself , know that this sound is commonly quite difficult for foreign learners to pronounce, and even native-speaking children usually take longer to master it.

In plain words, this means a consonant that is pronounced with the tip of the tongue placed against the teeth, but you already know that if you tried to follow your tongue movements while trying to repeat the Thursday misfortunes of Mr. Thurber.


Six sleek swans swam swiftly southwards

Credit: Good Free Photos

A haiku-esque scene for the more poetically inclined.


English can be understood through tough thorough thought, though.

Credit: Juan Rumimpunu

Loving this one… If you have the time, challenge a young kid to this one, they might have a bit of trouble with it. But it’s more than just a tongue twister, it’s good advice.


Give your tongue a break

Credit: Karo Kujanpaa

Hope your tongue is okay after this rollercoaster of an article! Soothe your tired speech organ with an icy drink, or maybe practice a bit more if you are thinking of challenging friends or family with some of these.

If you enjoyed our dive into the often confusing, albeit fascinating, world of tongue twisters; keep around! We will explore more fun language quirks and topics like the origin of many acronyms, or how some foreign words can become a translator’s worst nightmare.