Words & Stuff

ss: Toffee or Key? (Reader Comments and Addenda)

(31 May 1998)

Pierre provides some English contrepet tongue twisters from the International Collection of Tongue Twisters:

I am not a pheasant plucker,
I'm a pheasant plucker's son
but I'll be plucking pheasants
When the pheasant plucker's gone.

Suzie, Suzie, working in a shoeshine shop.
All day long she sits and shines,
all day long she shines and sits,
and sits and shines, and shines and sits,
and sits and shines, and shines and sits.
Suzie, Suzie, working in a shoeshine shop.

Tommy, Tommy, toiling in a tailor's shop.
All day long he fits and tucks,
all day long he tucks and fits,
and fits and tucks, and tucks and fits,
and fits and tucks, and tucks and fits.
Tommy, Tommy, toiling in a tailor's shop.

Mrs Hunt had a country cut front
in the front of her country cut pettycoat.

I had seen the pheasant-plucker one but not the others. Pierre also provides a couple of non-English ones (the first, at least, is from the tongue twisters site):

Madame Coutufon dit à madame Foncoutu:
  -- Bonjour, madame Foncoutu! Y a-t-il beaucoup de Foncoutus à Coutufon?
  -- Il y a autant de Foncoutus à Coutufon qu'il y a de Coutufons à Foncoutu.

Los cojines de la Reina.
Los cajones del Sultán.
¡Qué cojines!
¡Qué cajones!
¿En qué cajonera van?

Pierre explains: "You may wind up saying 'Los cojones de la Reina,' of which of course she has none."

Ranjit sent this note to me and Bram:

As I was smearing plum preserves on my toast this morning, I suddenly thought of a spoonerism to send to Bram and Jed.

These items I subsequently dug up from an old file can't match Ranjit's, but they're pretty good anyway:

My seals are lipped.
  -- Paul Weidler

Weed it and reap!
  -- Bill Pinder

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Jed Hartman <logophilia@kith.org>