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'What noise annoys a noisy oyster?' 'A noisy noise annoys a noisy oyster.'

'Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.' 'She sells sea-shells by the sea shore.'

These are tongue-twisters which everybody knows but that doesn't make them any easier to say. You can practise all you like but you will still make mistakes!

Here are some other difficult tongue-twisters. Take them one by one and ask someone to repeat them five times, as quickly as possible:

'Red leather, yellow leather.'

'A proper cup of coffee from a proper copper coffee pot.'

The sixth sheikh's sixth sheep's sick.' 'The Leith Police dismisseth us.' 'My black back brake-block's broken.' 'I'm not a thistle-sifter, I'm a thistle-sifter's son, and

I'm only sifting thistles till the thistle-sifter comes.' 'Lemon liniment.'

My own special favourite is the dialogue between a housewife and the man who is mending her saucepans. It goes like this:

'Are you copper-bottoming 'em, my man?' 'No, I'm aluminiumin' 'em, Mum.'

If you get tired of this selection there are hundreds more to be found at or you can have a competition to make up your own.

This can be done by numbers. The first player says something like: 'One wiry walrus wearing winter woollies'. The others repeat this nonsense in turn, and then the second player may say:

Two toads trod on Tina's toes'. And so on round the group. Anyone who stumbles more than once drops out, and the winner is the last player left.

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