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International Tongue Twister Contest Day – February 26, 2023

International Tongue Twister Contest Day is celebrated on the last Saturday of February every year. This year, it takes place on . The goal is to do exactly what it says on the tin and celebrate good-natured tongue twister contests. The day commemorates the annual International Tongue Twister Contest held at Logic Puzzle Museum in Burlington, Wisconsin. The contest was first organized in 2008, and has been an unyielding annual tradition since. It is open to participants between the ages of six and 106 years of age. Prizes include wonderful objects from beloved tongue twisters like ‘a peck of pickled peppers.’

History of International Tongue Twister Contest Day

Tongue twisters are phrases that are difficult to pronounce by design. They function as a word game alongside exercises to improve pronunciation and articulation. These expressions gained popularity in the 19th century when John Harris published his book “Peter Piper’s Practical Principles of Plain and Perfect Pronunciation,” which included a tongue twister for every letter of the alphabet. While the original purpose of the book was to help children and their command of the English language, the enjoyable turns of phrase garnered a great deal of interest from the rest of the public. The iconic “Peter Piper” was based on a French horticulturalist who went by the name Pierre Poivre. He was known to be exploring the possibility of growing “American spice in the French Mediterranean.“

The term ‘tongue twister’ was first coined in 1895. A considerable portion of tongue twisters rely on alternating similar but distinct phonemes to create the difficulty in articulation. Some use alliteration and rhymes, others use compound words and their corresponding stems, whilst some are words or short phrases that become tongue twisters when spoken repeatedly. Some tongue twisters are used by non-native speakers to pronounce words properly.

International Tongue Twister Contest Day is celebrated to appreciate tongue twisters and good-natured tongue twister contests. The day commemorates the annual International Tongue Twister Contest held at Logic Puzzle Museum in Burlington, Wisconsin. The contest was first organized in 2008 and has become a constant annual tradition since.

International Tongue Twister Contest Day timeline

1813
“Peter Piper” is Published

John Harris publishes “Peter Piper’s Practical Principles of Plain and Perfect Pronunciation.”

1908
She Sells Songs

The popular tongue twister “She Sells Sea Shells” becomes a popular song.

2008
The First Contest

The first International Tongue Twister Contest Day is held in Burlington, Wisconsin.

2013
The Trickiest Twister

MIT declares “pad kid poured curd pulled cod” to be the trickiest tongue twister.

International Tongue Twister Contest Day FAQs

What is the world's toughest tongue twister?

“Pad kid poured curd pulled cod,” as declared by MIT.

What's the easiest tongue twister?

Some easier tongue twisters include “She sees cheese” and “He threw three balls.”

What is the whole “Peter Piper” tongue twister?

“Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.”

International Tongue Twister Contest Day Activities

  1. Practice a tongue twister

    Pick a tongue twist and practice it. Don’t worry if you can’t get in on the first try, they are meant to be difficult!

  2. Host a tongue twister contest

    If you can’t make it to Burlington, hold a contest of your own. Invite your friends and make it an event!

  3. Make your own!

    If existing tongue twisters aren't doing it for you, write your own! If you have trouble saying it out loud, then you’re off to a good start.

5 Fun Facts About Tongues

  1. The tongue

    The tongue is the only muscle that works without any support from the skeleton.

  2. Color

    The color of your tongue can tell you a lot about your health.

  3. Tongue length

    Men, on average, have longer tongues than women by 0.2 inches.

  4. Tastebuds

    We have taste buds on our tongues but also on the inside of our cheeks!

  5. The longest tongue

    Nick Stoeberl holds the world record for the longest tongue at 3.97 inches.

Why We Love International Tongue Twister Contest Day

  1. It’s an excuse to practice tongue twisters

    Tongue twisters are a great deal of fun. The day’s an excuse to practice some enjoyable phrases.

  2. It can help improve pronunciation

    If enunciating is something you struggle with, practicing tongue twisters can help you get better. Take it slow, then speed it up until it’s as natural as breathing!

  3. It can help you practice a new language

    If you’re in the process of learning a new language, tongue twisters in that language can help you improve a bunch! Pick one with common words or phrases to get you started.

International Tongue Twister Contest Day dates

YearDateDay
2023February 26Sunday
2024February 26Monday
2025February 26Wednesday
2026February 26Thursday
2027February 26Friday

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