Tongue twisters are great fun and help to improve the enunciation of words. And there is none other that is quite a classic as the Peter Piper Tongue Twister, a nursery rhyme with lyrics that has been passed down through the ages.
Peter Piper Tongue Twister
Here is the Peter Piper Tongue Twister
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper,
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper,
Where’s the peck of pickled pepper that Peter Piper picked?
This tongue twister is time-tested and fun rhyme for parents to introduce to their children. It is great for encouraging young kids to pick up sounds like the alliteration at the start of each line.
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Practise it with your child and, before long, he or she will soon be picking it up after all the practice.
Peter Piper Tongue Twister Printable
Download a free Peter Piper Tongue Twister Printable here.
You can also watch a video of the tongue twister above.
What is the Meaning behind the Peter Piper Tongue Twister
What may be confusing to some is the meaning behind the Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper lyrics and rhyme.
That wouldn’t be too surprising since some of the words are no longer in common usage.
The most unusual word in the Peter Piper lyrics is the word “peck”. You would be forgiven for thinking that it meant a “pack” like what you’d find in a supermarket. However, it is “peck” with an “e” not an “a”.
Nowadays, we associate the word “peck” with something that a bird does, for example, the hens are pecking around on the grounds for grain.
However, in this context, “peck” means something completely different.
A peck is a unit of measurement of dry volume that is commonly used to measure produce like fruit and vegetables. It is the equivalent of eight quarts or a quarter of a bushel. In terms of gallons, it is two gallons.
Therefore, for Peter Piper to “pick a peck” is saying that he picked up a huge quantity of pickled peppers.
So, that brings us to our next question, what are pickled peppers?
These are simply peppers that have been soaked in brine or salty water for a long time to preserve them.
What exactly are the peppers that Peter Piper pickled? The lyrics of the rhyme do not actually say but there are many different varieties of peppers. Some of them that we may be familiar with include the bell pepper or what is commonly known as capsicum. But there are other much hotter peppers too.
We guess it would depend on Peter Piper’s taste, wouldn’t it?
Origins of the Peter Piper Tongue Twister
The Peter Piper Tongue Twister originated all the way back in 1813 when it first appeared in John Harris’ Peter Piper’s Practical Principles of Plain and Perfect Pronunciation.
However, the book could have been documenting a rhyme that had already been in existence for some time before.
The version of the Peter Piper rhyme that was published by John Harris was different from our modern version. If you want to give a variation of the Peter Piper tongue twister a go, here is the 1813 version:
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked;
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
Do you think it is harder or easier than the version we commonly use today?
Here’s a side by side comparison of the two versions:
|Common Version||Original Version|
|Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.||Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.|
|A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.||If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,|
|If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,||How many pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick|
|Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?||if he picked a peck of pickled peppers?|
Which is your pick?
We hope that you have fun with this classic tongue twister!
If you enjoyed this, you may also want to get our Betty Botter tongue twister printable here.