Tongue twisters

Tongue twisters are excellent for improving articulation. Try these:

  • The Leith Police dismisseth us.
  • A tutor who tooted the lute, tried to teach two young tooters to toot. Said the two to the tutor ‘Is it easier to toot or to tutor two tutors to toot?’
  • Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
  • Unique New York.
  • Red lorry, yellow lorry.
  • Betty Botter bought some butter, but it made her batter bitter. So she bought some better butter and it made her batter better.
  • ‘Are you copper bottoming ‘em my man?’ ‘No, I’m aluminiuming ‘em ma’am’.

Try repeating each one until your lips and tongue feel tired. Speed up and slow down as necessary.

A posh woman and a chef illustrating a tongue-twister exercise

Articulation exercises

Try saying nursery rhymes or reading passages of text where you consciously over pronounce every sound. This will make you very aware of letters that perhaps, ordinarily you don’t articulate. Try these to begin with:

Humpty Dumpty

by Unknown
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
All the King’s horses and all the King’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.


by GK Chesterton
Dim drums throbbing, in the hills half heard,
Where only on a nameless throne a crownless prince has stirred,
Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall,
The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall,
The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung,
That once went singing southward when all the world was young.