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

  • Did you look up the definition of tongue twister?
    – stangdon
    Jan 6, 2016 at 16:41
  • 1
    yes it didn't match but, I fount the "tongue twister on this photo" Jan 6, 2016 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, 2016 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, 2016 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. Jan 7, 2016 at 19:45

2 Answers 2


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.

  • The confusion may arise because a (rare) alternative to "rolling her tongue" is "twisting her tongue".
    – Chris H
    Jan 7, 2016 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.

  • 1
    I agree, although I think this would work better as a comment rather than a separate answer.
    – stangdon
    Jan 7, 2016 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" Jan 7, 2016 at 20:55

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