English Language Learners Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of other languages learning English. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In the picture the child is having fun with her tongue. Is it called a tongue twister?

share|improve this question
    
Did you look up the definition of tongue twister? – stangdon Jan 6 at 16:41
1  
yes it didn't match but, I fount the "tongue twister on this photo" – Sabbir Hasan Jan 6 at 16:42
    
Interestingly, the ability to do this is genetic. If you can't do it then it is impossible to teach you to do it. On the other hand if you have the genes you can do it without being taught. – slebetman Jan 7 at 9:21
1  
There is actually little reason to believe it genetic, but the process of nerve development and selection seem better discussed in biology. – The Nate Jan 7 at 12:14
    
@TheNate is correct. It's widely believed that the ability to do this is genetic, but it's not, or at least it's not clearly binary. It's very much possible to train oneself (or presumably someone else) to do it. It's plausible that there are genetic traits that make it easier, but I've never seen any evidence to support such a claim. – R.. Jan 7 at 19:45
up vote 57 down vote accepted

No, a "tongue twister" is a sentence that is very difficult to say correctly.

For example:

  • She sells seashells on the seashore
  • The sixth sheik's sixth sheep's sick.
  • Which wristwatches are Swiss wristwatches?

What the child in the picture is doing is called tongue rolling. See Tongue rolling on Wikipedia for more information.

share|improve this answer
    
The confusion may arise because a (rare) alternative to "rolling her tongue" is "twisting her tongue". – Chris H Jan 7 at 8:53

I can't speak for England, but in America I have always heard people say "She can roll her tongue." Just as a point of clarification, because based on the above, you might think it's appropriate to say "She can do tongue rolling." If you said that to me, I would have no idea what you were talking about, but I might fear it was something sexual.

share|improve this answer
1  
I agree, although I think this would work better as a comment rather than a separate answer. – stangdon Jan 7 at 16:25
    
Really? I live in America as well, and I always assumed rolling your tongue was the same as rolling "r"s, like in spanish "Perro" – Alex Kibler Jan 7 at 20:55

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.